All systems go for early social grant payments

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu says the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) is ready for social grant payments as from 31 March 2020.

Unpacking the department’s intervention measures on Coronavirus (COVID-19) during a Social Cluster briefing in Pretoria on Tuesday, Zulu said retailers and the banking industry are working closely with SASSA to ensure that everyone is able to access their money.

“We work with Treasury to make sure that the monies are paid a bit early, so that people can access the money. We are happy that Treasury has stepped up and made sure that everything is processed properly.

“Citizens are reminded that the elderly and people with disabilities should be allowed to access their grants on the 30th and 31st, so that they can return home as quickly as possible, given the emergency that has been declared. All other grants will be available from 31 April 2020,” Zulu said.

The Minister reminded recipients that once the money is paid into their account, it will remain there until they withdraw it.

Hygiene protocol to be enforced at retailers 

Zulu said hygiene protocols and social distancing will be enforced at all retailers, and cooperation is requested to ensure that everyone is attended to without any unnecessary delays.

“We wrote a letter to the Ministers of Police and Defence to request that where we might need support, we [get it],” the Minister said.

SASSA offices close 

Meanwhile, SASSA offices will be closed from Friday until 16 April 2020, and no new applications will be processed until after the lockdown.

Zulu said all applicants who need immediate assistance will be channelled to the department's Social Relief of Distress (SRD), and applications will be done through the call centre.

With regards to grant administration services, Zulu said SASSA’s local offices will also be on lockdown from Friday until 16 April 2020.

“No new applications for grants will be done during the period of lockdown. Concerns and enquiries can be directed to the call centre on 0800 601 011 or email GrantEnquiries@sassa.gov.za.”

The call centre will be operational during the lockdown. 

Social services continue operations 

Zulu said while some shelters had to close, others like elderly centres and orphanages cannot be closed.

“Our responsibility is to make sure that we step up in supporting them and making sure that they are not left isolated,” the Minister said. – SAnews.gov.za

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