The ACDP has consistently called on South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) to provide South Africans with a more efficient and effective client experience.
SASSA’s evident lack of improvement in these areas, over several years, and its inability to learn from past mistakes has resulted in the non-payment of grants to legitimate grant beneficiaries once again. This non-payment of grants increases hardship for elderly and child grant recipients.
The Department of Social Development should become proactive and efficient in its communication with grant beneficiaries by increasing their grass roots efforts. Why are the Parliamentary Constituency offices, community workers, and NGOs not used in these instances to reach beneficiaries in advance before drastic actions are taken that leaves vulnerable families without money during a trying January period? The priority should be to alleviate distress and to efficiently communicate through local offices and grass roots entities. Organisations that are situated in communities should be incorporated where other means to get in touch with people fail.
The ACDP acknowledges the response from SASSA, and the measures taken to reduce fraudulent payments, but cannot ignore the negative impact of the non-payment of grants to legitimate beneficiaries.
Our concern, as the ACDP, is the hardship and difficulty that puts grant recipients in the risky path of loan sharks. The missing payments set families back months, and some do not recover from the vicious cycle of borrowing against their grants.
The ACDP urges all grant recipients to contact their local SASSA offices if they need to be verified, and we advise them to apply for the interim Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grant.