File Photo: Thobile Mathonsi African News Agency (ANA)
File Photo: Thobile Mathonsi African News Agency (ANA)

Five million unemployed South Africans applied for R350 Covid-19 grant

By Mayibongwe Maqhina Time of article published May 21, 2020

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Cape Town - The South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) has received about five million applications for the R350 special Covid-19 grant. 

This was revealed by the Department of Social Development's acting director-general Linton Mchunu, who said on Thursday they had started processing 2.6 million applications that were complete. The other batch in excess of 2 million application, had yet to be processed.

He said the department had used a batch of 75 000 applications during their trial run. In that batch, 39 000 applications which were verified through SARS were found to be people drawing salaries as at April.

Mchunu said the verification process had saved the government R13.6 million which would have been wrongly paid to the culprits each month. This figure would have ballooned to R81m over the six month special Covid-19 grant period. 

Sassa chief executive Busisiwe Memela-Khambula told MPs there had been delays to pay the grants due to verification of the applicants. She said they needed to ascertain if they were not receiving other social grants and UIF benefits.

She said Sars still had to verify the details of 36 000 applicants who have not authorised their vetting.

Memela-Khambula said they planned to pay out 300 000 continuously every two days after verification of applications.

She said qualifying beneficiaries would have their grants paid via bank accounts, e-wallet or Post Bank.

Memela-Khambula also said they were looking in the long term at using vouchers and that they had received about 50 000 unsolicited bids which would go through the normal procurement process.

Political Bureau

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