NATIONAL NEWS - The South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) says it has been receiving many grievances about the declined R350 grant applications, which did not meet the approval requirements.
However, according to the agency, the majority of rejected applications are from people already on the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) database or qualifying to receive it.
They are now advising claimants to contact the department of employment and labour to either apply for UIF or follow up with their applications.
For one to qualify for the Covid-19 grant, they must be either unemployed without any kind of income, or not receiving any kind of government assistance, such as UIF and the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS), the agency said.
They must also not be recipients of any social grants or any other financial support, and must be above the age of 18.
Sassa said they were verifying all applications by matching their data with other public and private databases to eliminate possibilities of “double-dipping” to ensure that only deserving applicants receive this financial aid.
According to Sassa CEO, Totsie Memela, they were aware this has caused unhappiness from applicants. She urged people to familiarise themselves with the criteria.
“We are doing everything in our power to solve the matter and a dedicated email address and phone number have been made available to process complaints.
“Those who feel aggrieved should either call 0800 60 10 11 or email firstname.lastname@example.org with their complaints to access the recourse mechanism. We aim to pay the right grant to the right people,” Memela said.
Meanwhile, the Democratic Alliance (DA) said it will submit urgent parliamentary questions to Minister of Social Development Lindiwe Zulu to ascertain how her department and Sassa have spent the billions of rands in funding that have been redirected towards social relief.
The DA said it was not convinced that the R50-billion fund issued by the government has reached its intended recipients as promised, particularly as it relates to Sassa’s bungling of the special R350 grant.
“Our concern is that the majority of those who desperately need this R350 to survive will have to wait even longer for their grants,” the party said.
According to the Sassa, 3.2 million applicants have been approved, while 1.2 million have been paid already.