The R350 grant or Social Relief of Distress grant has been receiving an increasing number of appeals. An Independent Tribunal has been called on to address the matter.
President Cyril Ramaphosa said around 7.5 million people receive the R350 Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grant each month.
Recently, approximately 13 million people applied for the grant in January 2023 alone, revealed the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa).
However, the members of the Portfolio Committee on Social Development showed concern about delays of up to two months in grant payments, as well as the lack of communication.
The government Agency has admitted that they could have communicated better and more timeously with grant beneficiaries about payment delays.
In a statement, Sassa gave this response:
We assure the Committee that moving forward, we are going to strengthen our systems to prevent delays and put a strategy in place to ensure that communication improves.
In December 2022, the Agency confirmed that the number of appeals received by the Independent Tribunal for Social Assistance Appeals (ITSAA) increased from an average of 150 to 750 per month, following the implementation of the Social Assistance Amendment Act.
In a status report on payments of social grants, Sassa has confirmed that the Tribunal examined a total of 910 307 appeals for April 2022 and at least 19% of appeals received during this period were approved for payment by the government agency.
In a detailed breakdown, it was revealed that all the SRD applicants who were found to be Government Employees’ Pension Fund recipients, Nsfas beneficiaries, individuals receiving a pension fund, inmates, SARS tax beneficiaries were declined for an appeal.
Here’s a detailed breakdown of outcomes:
- Social Pension for Indigent Senior Citizens: 1164 appeals declined
- Unemployment Insurance Fund: 1635 declined + 7962 approved appeals
- Personnel and Salary System: 441 approved, 9530 declined
- MEANS: 172 766 approved, 695 338 declined
According to Sassa, 19% of appeals received during this period were approved for payment by the government agency.
At this moment, the Tribunal is busy with adjudication for July 2022 and also taking care of the outstanding matters for June 2022.
ITSAA will ensure that appeals ranging from August until October 2022 are examined before the end of March 2023.
After the adjudication process has been completed, the Tribunal will communicate the outcomes for each month to Sassa for immediate implementation.
Demzyportal Category: SASSA