The South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) says some of the R350 COVID-19 social relief grant applicants are likely to get their payments soon.

The agency is considering creating a database for the after reviewing the applications.

About 50% of the applications were rejected because they did not meet the basic requirements. Sassa said they had already received or qualified for the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) benefits.

After requesting an updated database to review the declined UIF cases,  the social security agency found that up 85% of the UIF cases, which were previously disqualified, actually qualify.

Sassa Spokesperson Paseka Letsatsi says out of over 3 million successful applicants, more than 2.5 million people have already been paid.

“The South African Social Security Agency management took a decision that they will take those who actually were rejected because they might have been appearing on the UIF database for an internal review mechanism. We took this road because were were trying to avoid an appeal process which might take long, we just wanted to review as quick as possible and those who qualify in the UIF because some people might be on the UIF database, however they might not be getting any payment, these people will be reviewed and the organisation will be in touch with them to make sure that those who deserve to get the grant we do so without any further delay,” says Letsatsi.

In the video below, the Social Development Minister discusses the issue of grant applications:

 

Social Relief via distress grant

The special grant has been formulated to help those without an income during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In April, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that R350 will be paid to unemployed individuals for six months.

The governing ANC has now requested Parliament’s Economic Portfolio Committee to look at the feasibility of introducing it as a basic income.