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Government employees illegally benefiting from Covid-19 Social Relief of Distress grant meant for the unemployed

South African Social Security Agency (Sassa). Picture: David Ritchie/ANA Pictures.

South African Social Security Agency (Sassa). Picture: David Ritchie/ANA Pictures.

Published May 8, 2022

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Durban - The South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) has introduced a new way to avoid a scam where government employees were also benefiting from the special Covid-19 Social Relief of Distress grant (SRD).

This was revealed by Sassa in a recent statement on their Twitter account.

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“Each month all clients will undergo the special Covid-19 SRD grant means test to ensure that the beneficiary still qualifies for the grant. Initially, we did not have a means test but now we have and we will be using banks for that. The threshold will be R350,” read a statement.

According to Sassa spokesperson Paseka Letsatsi, almost 10 million beneficiaries depend on the monthly R350 special Covid-19 SRD, meaning that 31% of the population relies on this grant.

Amidst all of this, more than 3 000 government employees have been found to be defrauding the victims of the special Covid-19 grant.

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According to media reports, Sassa has recovered over R12.6 million from public servants who received grants that they did not qualify for.

Most beneficiaries have since taken to social media to express their anger as they have not received their April and May grant whilst some argue that their applications keep getting declined even though they do not have any source of income.

The SRD Social Assistance Act states that the social relief of distress (SRD) is a temporary provision of assistance intended for persons in such dire material need that they are unable to meet their families’ most basic needs.

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But it was found that people with jobs are currently benefiting from this grant whilst the ones that are really in need are unable to benefit from the grant.

Letsatsi, said investigations would still be undertaken.

“We can't go and instruct the police that they must arrest. You we can give the information and follow the processes, then they'll be able to implement the arrest. We can’t go and tell government departments that we are instructing them to expel this person. The only thing that we can do is to identify that you are getting a government grant illegally and we have this information and we can then give it to that relevant authority,” said Letsatsi.

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Related Topics:

SASSACovid-19

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