The South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) had received over 13 million applications for the Social Relief of Distress Grant by August.

Just over seven million of these applications are from new applicants.

Six million are from previous beneficiaries of the R350 government grant announced to cushion the impact of joblessness as a result of the outbreak of COVID-19.

These figures were revealed by Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu in a reply to a written parliamentary question.

She says Sassa has completed processing new applications and started payment.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has extended the grant until March 2022.

The video below unpacks Sassa’s Social Relief of Distress grant with Busisiwe Memela:

Meanwhile, the Public Protector has found that Sassa’s improper conduct in awarding new contracts to service providers for the distribution of food parcels caused destitute people in four provinces to go without the parcels for five months.

Busisiwe Mkhwebane has found Sassa’s conduct in delaying the tender process for the food parcels was improper and constituted maladministration.

The complaint was laid by Advocate Paul Hoffman from the Institute of Accountability in Southern Africa.

The PP’s report found the delay was caused by a lack of proper planning.