Sassa has paid R350 grant to 5.6 million applicants since August 2021

Close to 14 million COVID-19 grant applications were received and 8.3 million applicants were approved by September 2021.

FILE: While most recipients accessed their R350 from the Post Office, about 1.5 million applicants chose to be paid through the cardless payment channel at ATMs. Picture: Supplied.

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) on Thursday said it had paid out the COVID-19 R350 grant to 5.6 million South Africans since it was reinstated in August this year.

Close to 14 million applications were received and 8.3 million applicants were approved by September 2021.

While most recipients accessed their R350 from the Post Office, about 1.5 million applicants chose to be paid through the cardless payment channel at ATMs.

This category has not been paid as yet due to the fact that Sassa went through a procurement process to use this payment method with the banks, and National Treasury is currently considering this request.

The agency said over two-thirds of appeals lodged had been finalised.

As part of the process, Sassa sends these cases to the banking sector for validation, which may take time in some cases. The main purpose is to double-check if they do not receive an income because part of the grant criteria is that applicants should be unemployed and without any income.

“As soon as Treasury approves our request, we will pay every cent owed to this category of beneficiaries without any waste of time. We really empathise with them but we also have a responsibility to follow the law”, said Sassa CEO Busisiwe Memela-Khambula.

Unemployed caregivers without the 13-digit barcoded South African ID - which compromises mostly of refugees and asylum seekers - who receive child grants can now apply for this grant.

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