Zulu says 11.4 million beneficiaries received grants worth R15.5bn
Cape Town – Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu said on Friday more than 11.4 million beneficiaries have received their social grants to the tune of R15.5 billion.
Zulu made the statement when she and the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) briefed the media on their response as part of measures to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
"Since the declaration of the State of the National Disaster in March, Sassa has without fail, continued with the normal business of paying social grants without any major interruptions, including the implementation of the 6-month top-up grants that were announced by President Ramaphosa in April this year," she said.
Zulu said between May and October, they allocated an additional financial support to over 11 million social grant recipients and the amount spent was approximately R31 billion.
She also said they have to date distributed R13.5 billion in special Covid-19 social relief of distress to more than six million eligible beneficiaries.
"As a portfolio, we are pleased with the government’s decision to extend the provision of this grant for a further three months until 31 January 2021."
Zulu said of the 9.5 million applications processed in November, over 6.9 million were approved and already paid.
"We are currently processing applications for December and we intend to process payments before the last week of this month. Of these payments, SAPO accounts for 4 million, 1.6 million are paid through personal accounts and 100 000 through the mobile money/cash send platforms."
Zulu also said there was still a relatively small number of applications approved but not yet paid for the period between May and October.
"This is due to a number of issues, including information verification/ banking details verification while in other cases Sassa is struggling to locate the applicants as the contact numbers used during applications are no longer in use.
"The remaining one percent of the outstanding applications will be processed for payment as soon as we have completed the verification."
Zulu said they were concerned by the large number of applicants who despite their ineligibility, knowingly applied for the Special Covid-19 special relief of distress grant to defraud the system.
"Over 3 million of such applicants were found to have other sources of income, including over 712 482 who were found to be receiving social grants, 605 466 were registered for UIF and 168 920 receive NSFAS.
"Of major concern is that over 8 000 applicants were found to be using the personal particulars of deceased persons. This is not only illegal, but criminal," she said.