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Black Sash urges SASSA and DSD to implement mechanisms that ensure timely grant payments

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By Ragheema Mclean

The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) is facing a crisis as it is alleged that around 150,000 beneficiaries have been affected by recent payment delays.

These payment delays meant that thousands of financially vulnerable people did not receive any financial support for the first month of the year.

Sassa has attributed the payment challenges to discrepancies in grant beneficiary details and verification delays.

The agency explained:

“The ID number does not correspond with what is appearing in the bank, or you may find in some instances that the details or names as they are written when people change their payment method do not correspond.”

Civil society organization #BlackSash says it has been inundated with complaints from communities over these delays.

Speaking on VOC Breakfast on Monday, Western Cape Regional Officer at the Black Sash Thandi Henkeman said it could take up to 30 days for SASSA to rectify these payment delays.

She expressed:

“The start of 2024 has not been a good start for many social grant beneficiaries.’

“As Black Sash, we are alarmed that yet again SASSA has failed its constitutional obligation to deliver social grants to beneficiaries without delays.”

“Our concern now is the time it takes to correct the delay and ensure that those who have been affected can access their social grants.”

Henkeman stressed that many beneficiaries have raised grievances and concerns regarding how it would affect their livelihoods should the current payment system delays persist.

“Social grants are a fundamental lifeline for many recipients; they rely on these grants to provide for their basic needs, so any disruption of social grants poses a real life-and-death situation for many,” she added.

She noted that it is especially concerning, as child support grants are mostly affected by these challenges. She continued, “Children are going to school this week, and they will need many things. It has a severe and real impact on beneficiaries.”

Furthermore, Henkeman said that it is SASSA’s, along with the Department of Social Development’s (DSD), constitutional obligation to protect and fulfil the rights of social assistance.

“It is their responsibility to come up with a long-term solution that protects and serves the needs of beneficiaries.”

Black Sash has called on the DSD to implement mechanisms that will ensure that beneficiaries receive their grants on time without any delays.

“I think it’s a collective stance that we ensure that the Basic Income Support Grant is streamlined properly, and it’s very important now more than ever that this is seen as an imperative mechanism to alleviate poverty in our country.”

VOC News

Photo: VOCfm/Stockfile

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