SASSA revives disrupted food relief programme

Monday, July 19, 2021

The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) says the agency will continue to provide social relief of distress in the form of food vouchers to needy families.

The agency said instead of food parcels, SASSA currently provides vouchers for social relief of distress that are redeemable at selected service providers.

SASSA said, however, that the service has been halted in KwaZulu-Natal, as service providers had their food stock looted and infrastructure vandalised during the past week’s unrest in the province.

“This has worsened the situation of vulnerable and needy families who don’t have a means of income and rely on government interventions,” said SASSA CEO Busisiwe Memela-Khambula.

The relief is provided as part of the standard of social relief of distress programme administered by SASSA, in terms of the Social Assistance Act.

The criteria states that if one is already a grant beneficiary, they do not qualify for social relief of distress. An application supported by documentary evidence is also required for each person requiring support.

“SASSA is calling for calm as it works around the clock to restore this food relief programme countrywide in this hour of need. We also appeal to communities to spare a thought for the vulnerable at all times because they bear the brunt of this unrest,” Memela-Khambula said.

Memela-Khambula warned against a fake poster circulating on social media, claiming that people can apply for social relief of distress electronically.

“This is not true because in order to apply, you have to visit a SASSA office.”

Cash delivery to pay points resumes 

Meanwhile, previously suspended cash-in-transit (CIT) services will resume for 19 July 2021 at SASSA cash pay points, except in KwaZulu-Natal.

This after CIT companies suspended cash delivery to pay points last week due to the unrest.

“The situation is now relatively under control and new payment dates have been circulated to affected beneficiaries, especially in rural areas. Gauteng and the Western Cape have already received this service at their pay points,” Memela-Khambula said. – 

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