The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) says it is working on an appeal system for aggrieved applicants of the R350 social grant.
This follows complaints of lack of clarity in the criteria followed by the agency in approving or rejecting applications.
Frustrated unemployed South Africans took to social media complaining that they have been declined the grant despite meeting the requirements to qualify.
While some applications are still pending, a month after applying, others have been rejected on claims of other sources of income.
SASSA working on the glitch
South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) said it is aware that the initial notification does not provide the exact reasons for rejection. This as most rejected applicants said they only received an SMS which lacked details.
SASSA spokesperson Paseka Letsatsi says they are working on an appeal process.
“People have been getting a particular form of income which is deposited in their bank account. It does not necessarily mean if a person who would want to appeal we would want to close that space, because as an organisation together with the Department of Social Development we are trying to make sure that we fast track the process of the appeal mechanism so that those who are aggrieved, can be able to process their applications.”
Letsatsi said – as of Wednesday 17 June, more than 1,3-million people had received their payments.
He said the initial glitches have now been resolved.
“In terms of people who have made an application and so on, it might have been a little slow in the beginning but the process is now get resolved quickly and we feel that people will definitely get what is due to them in due course.”
In the video below, millions apply for unemployment grant:
Social Relief via distress grant
The special grant has been formulated to help those without an income during the COVID-19 pandemic.
President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that a grant of R350 will be paid to unemployed individuals for the next six months.
“A special COVID-19 Social Relief of Distress grant of an amount of R350 a month for the next 6-months will be paid to individuals who are currently unemployed and who do not receive any other form of social grant or UIF payment. The Department of Social Development will issue the requirements needed to access this funding.”
When President Cyril Ramaphosa made the announcement of the temporary ‘COVID-19 Social Relief Distress grant in April, it was hailed for its poor-centered focus.
However, announcing planned payments is one thing and implementing and effecting payments to poor families is another.
30-year-old applicant Karabelo says he has lost hope.
“I tried to go check if maybe there’s someone using my name or something like that, I checked in the UIF if I do have UIF or whatever, I’m failing to understand where do they get such information. You don’t give hope to the needy and then drop them at the last minute, there are people who really need that money especially in times like this, you know I’ve lost hope, I’ve lost hope.”
Another applicant, whose application is still pending a month later, is 32-year-old Bianca.
“I phoned for three days didn’t get through so I did the online application, I did the WhatsApp, everything, and still it’s pending. It has been terrible, terrible, terrible, we’ve been asking for food hampers, I have to go on Twitter asking for people to help us with electricity, it’s embarrassing, it’s not fair anymore.”
COVID-19 R350 social relief grant explained:
— SASSA (@OfficialSASSA) June 18, 2020
— SASSA (@OfficialSASSA) May 29, 2020
In the video below, the Social Development Minister addresses the media on SASSA grants:
In the video below, many still await SASSA’s COVID-19 Social Relief Distress grant: