SASSA system finds govt employees applying for R350 grant

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The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) says its verification system has picked up that some of the applicants for the R350 social relief grant are public servants.

Government’s reinstated special COVID-19 Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grant is reserved for unemployed persons as a means to cushion SA’s poorest and distressed citizens from the financial burden brought on by the global pandemic.

Despite not qualifying, some public servants submitted applications for the R350 grant.

In a statement, SASSA says through the verification process of SRD grant applicants against various government databases, it found government employees on the grant applications list.

In addition, SASSA says the focus within the organisation is not only on the R350 grant, but other social grants as well.

“As a result of a recent exercise conducted, SASSA has identified both SASSA and provincial social development employees, including other public servants who are drawing social grants. Those public servants receiving foster child grants are entitled to do so, as these are not means-tested and there are court orders to back the applications.

“However, the other grants are being investigated to ensure the means-test has been correctly applied. SASSA exercises zero tolerance to any deliberate attempt to access social grants by people who do not qualify for these.”

SASSA notes it remains the responsibility of every citizen whose financial circumstances change, even while they are receiving the grant, to inform the agency of such changes.

“This allows for their eligibility for continued receipt of the grant to be reviewed. Further action will be taken where it is found that ineligible public servants have continued to receive these grants.”

Meanwhile, SASSA, which began paying the first batch of beneficiaries last week, has urged those who have not collected their monies when the grant was introduced, to go to their nearest post office to draw the grant by 31 August.

“These clients were sent SMSes but never went to draw their R350 grant. Failing to do so will see SASSA return the money to National Treasury for allocation to other government priorities.”

According to SASSA, the lists of uncollected SRD grants are uploaded on its website and beneficiaries are advised to visit the site to check before 31 August. “If your name appears on the lists, please report to the post office to collect the funds without further delay.”

Clients are advised to contact the post office through the call centre on 0860 111 502, or Postbank on 0800 53 54 55.

The payments for this cycle of the COVID-19 SRD grant run from August until 31 March 2022.

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