The South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) has apologised for any financial inconvenience caused to beneficiaries of the COVID-19 social relief grant after payments were not made to the recipients for March and April.

Sassa attributed the delay to the agency having to complete its financial year-end tasks.

Sassa spokesperson Paseka Letsatsi has assured beneficiaries that they will receive a double payment at the end of this month.

Letsatsi says, “We do apologise for the inconvenience caused and we think we should have done better if we did not have to obey certain protocols. We can assure you that, and try to make sure that each and every person that is being taken care of gets what is due to them.”

“There was an extension in February to say the grants have to be extended until April and it created some problems for us because we have to make sure that we obey the financial protocols. The financial year-end of government is 31 March and on 1 April we can’t afford to make any mistakes. But we can confirm that by month-end people will be paid for both March and April,” added Letsatsi.

SASSA clarifies grant payment delays:

During the State of the Nation Address (SONA) President Cyril Ramaphosa extended the special COVID-19 grant of R350 by another three months.

More than 18 million South Africans have received additional social grant payments.

Ramaphosa said: “We have therefore decided to extend the period for the Special COVID-19 Grant of R350 by a further three months. We have also decided to extend the COVID-19 TERS benefit until 15 March 2021 only for those sectors that have not been able to operate. The conditions of this extension and the sectors to be included will be announced after consultations with social partners at NEDLAC.”

Sassa CEO weighs in on the extension of the R350 Social Relief Grant: