The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) has finally started making payments to reconsideration applicants of the R350 social relief of distress (SRD) grants.
These are beneficiaries who applied for reconsideration when their initial applications were declined. Many of them have waited for their payments since August 2021 as SASSA battled internal challenges.
SASSA starts SRD reconsideration payments
“SASSA has been dealing with the thorny issue of reconsideration since August 2021. The process has now ended and those who qualify will start receiving their payment this week. Check your bank notification for payment,” the Agency announced in a tweet on Wednesday (15 June).
“Do not go to the Post Office for collection of your SRD grant. Use any approved retail outlet namely Pick n Pay, Checkers, Shoprite, Boxer or Usave.”
Some beneficiaries confirmed that they have started receiving payments. “At last I got my first reconsideration R350 this morning. [I’m] still waiting for more!!! The whole eight months,” Lesley Tlhabane replied.
However, others inquired about the pending April and May payments, to which SASSA replied, “Payments for the new cycle of the special COVID-19 SRD grant (from April 2022) will be paid as from mid-June 2022.”
“We are still paying those we owe from last year. Please be patient. You will receive your payment,” another Twitter reply from the Agency stated.
Lindiwe Zulu ‘pained’ by delays
In an interview with talk radio 702 this week, Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu said she was “pained” that beneficiaries have not received their SRD payments since April.
“We are really sorry we have had to go through this process and it is taking this long, but the money will be paid to the right beneficiaries. We are going to be paying back from the time people applied and were approved. The payments will be backdated,” Zulu said.
She explained that the delay was caused by the need to enter new agreements with commercial banks when the COVID-19 National State of Disaster ended in April.
This is because the government had to move the grant from the Disaster Act to the Social Assistance Act to comply with financial and other regulations, the Minister added.
More than 10 million people across South Africa have benefitted from the grant since the government introduced it in April 2020 soon after the pandemic started.