The campaign, which is currently amassing information of those declined applications, said most of the application failures were generated by Sassa’s system. Picture Leon Lestrade/African News Agency/ANA.
The campaign, which is currently amassing information of those declined applications, said most of the application failures were generated by Sassa’s system. Picture Leon Lestrade/African News Agency/ANA.

Call for minister to intervene in declined SRD grant saga

By Mthuthuzeli Ntseku Time of article published Sep 10, 2021

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Cape Town - With the growing number of declined R350 social relief of distress (SRD) grant applications by the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa), the Pay the Grants campaign has called on the Minister of Social development, Lindiwe Zulu, to intervene.

The campaign, which is currently amassing information of those declined applications, said most of the application failures were generated by Sassa’s system.

The campaign’s co-ordinator, Israel Nkuna, said applicants were being rejected for the weakest of reasons.

“If the people I try to help on a daily basis are anything to go by, the grant application system has left millions of South Africans with no support. While we try to deal with an application system that has serious faults, we struggle to survive.

“While we wait for an appeal process on failed applications, we starve. Whether the system is poorly designed or simply fraudulent, I can’t say, but the outcomes do not serve people in need,” he said.

Nkuna said the campaign was also seeking clarity and transparency about how banks were communicating with Sassa as he said some banks were reporting account balances over the qualification threshold of R595 when in fact many applicants had less.

Black Sash senior paralegal-fieldworker Jonathan Walton said the organisation had launched a report detailing recommendations for how challenges of exclusions and inequitable access for the grant could be addressed and when the grant was reintroduced Zulu indicated that a limited number of these challenges had been resolved.

“It is critical that rejected applicants be permitted to provide additional documentation to ensure that Sassa has up-to-date information on file prior to making a decision on the appeal,” said Walton.

Sassa spokesperson Paseka Letsatsi said applicants whose applications were declined can appeal the decision.

Letsatsi said reconsideration should be applied for within 30 days after receiving the rejection result, and, if approved, an applicant would be paid from the month in which they applied.

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