Black Sash raises concerns over Sassa delay in COVID-19 relief grants

The Black Sash's Esley Philander said that the payment delay was not an isolated incident.

FILE: Pensioner Anne Snyman leaves Mitchells Plain's Town Centre after collecting her pension payout on 30 March 2020. Picture: Kaylynn Palm/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The Black Sash has raised concern over a delay in COVID-19 relief grants.

On Monday, the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) apologised to all unpaid clients, saying that the payments would be made as soon as an administrative issue was sorted out.

The delay comes with the final payment of the special R350 grant that ended on 30 April.

The Black Sash's Esley Philander said that the payment delay was not an isolated incident.

"This is the second time in recent weeks that Sassa apologises for payment delays. Millions of beneficiaries remain uncertain and continue to gather in large crowds at Sapo branches to make inquiries in a desperate hope for payment."

Some beneficiaries were awaiting several payments, but Sassa has warned that they may not come as double payments, lump sums or on the same day but could split over days and weeks.

Philander maintained that this was not ideal and that Sassa must intervene decisively and communicate clearly when lump sum payments could be expected.

At the same time, the human rights organisation has been calling for the grant to be extended until a basic income grant was introduced.

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