SASSA R350 Grant Payments Delay News

SASSA R350 Grant Payments Delay News

SASSA R350 Grant Payments Delay NewsCovid-19, as well as the restrictions and lockdown measures, had a significant impact on South African citizens’ social and economic activities. In May 2020, the government introduced the R350 grant to help those in need.

Due to the slow economic recovery, the grant has since been extended until March 2023 by the Department of Social Development (DSD) via the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa).

Since the grant’s implementation in 2020, Sassa has encountered numerous difficulties in paying eligible citizens, and the requirements for beneficiaries of the grant have undergone numerous changes. You Can Also Check;

During the Social Relief of Distress Grant progress report discussion, the Minister of Social Development, Lindiwe Zulu explained that when the third iteration of the grant was implemented, R44 billion was allocated to serve 10.5 billion out of the 10.9 qualifying beneficiaries until the end of March 2023.

In the first three months, serious challenges were faced, and it resulted in a two-month delay in grant implementation.

The shortfall prompted the department to introduce the first additional qualifying criteria for the grant because according to laws within the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA), the department is required to stay within the stipulated allocation, she adds.

“This included the introduction of a means test threshold of R350 for all applicants. This was implemented by checking the bank account of each applicant monthly to assess whether their monthly income is R350 or more.”

Zulu says that the assessment brought about many challenges for the DSD as it meant that they had to go into negotiation with the banks to perform these means tests and banks always choose to protect their clients.

Recently the department announced a further increase to the means test threshold, increasing it from R350 to R624. The increase created many misunderstandings as people thought that the grant payment had been adjusted upwards, but this was not the case.

According to Zulu, the department’s biggest problem was the grant’s low uptake because it was less than the budgeted amount.

Despite the fact that there are more and more hungry and distressed people in the communities, the money that hasn’t been spent must be returned to the national Treasury, she says.

The Department of Social Development and Sassa are optimistic that the higher threshold will result in more people applying for grants.