The South African Social Services Agency (SASSA) began suspending social grant payments made to public servants in September after it was found that more than 170 000 of them, received money from the agency, while the information about their income was outdated. The agency suspended the grants and requested that public servants prove their eligibility once again.

SASSA CANCELS SOCIAL GRANT PAYMENTS

SASSA said that after suspending the civil servants’ income grants, in line with regulations, it became aware that many of the grants were paid to public servants working as interns, EPWP’s and general workers, whose income would not exclude them from receiving a grant from the state.

“SASSA is in the process of reconsidering the individual circumstances of the affected beneficiaries and will reinstate their grants where indicated,” said the agency in a statement on Thursday, 14 October.

“However, all those affected will be required to review their grants and provide updated information on their employment and marital status, to ensure compliance with the legislation. These reviews must be done at the local SASSA offices.”

The agency said one of the requirements of the Social Assistance Act of 2004, which enables the payment of social grants, is that it must ensure payments are made only to citizens that meeting the qualifying criteria. Therefore, beneficiaries have a responsibility to inform SASSA of any changes to their personal circumstances – such as a different marital or employment status.

SASSA CEO Busisiwe Memela-Khambula asked those affected to bear with the agency and said they are trying to resolve the issue as soon as possible. “However, we also wish to remind all beneficiaries that any change in their circumstances must be reported to SASSA as soon after the change as possible, to avoid a repetition of this situation.”

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