The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) says it has been receiving many grievances about the declined R350 grant applications, which did not meet the approval requirements.
However, according to the agency, the majority of rejected applications are from people already on the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) database or qualifying to receive it.
They are now advising claimants to contact the Department of Employment and Labour to either apply for UIF or follow up with their applications.
People who qualify to apply for the grant.
For one to qualify for the COVID-19 grant, they must be either unemployed without any kind of income, or not receiving any kind of government assistance, such as UIF and the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS), the agency said.
They must also not be recipients of any social grants or any other financial support, and must be above the age of 18.
SASSA said they are verifying all applications by matching their data with other public and private databases to eliminate possibilities of “double-dipping” to ensure that only deserving applicants receive this financial aid.
According to SASSA CEO, Totsie Memela, they are aware this has caused unhappiness from applicants. She urged people to familiarise themselves with the criteria.
“We are doing everything in our power to solve the matter and a dedicated email address and phone number have been made available to process complaints.
“Those who feel aggrieved should either call 0800 60 10 11 or email firstname.lastname@example.org with their complaints to access the recourse mechanism. We aim to pay the right grant to the right people,” Memela said.
Over 1 million people receive R350 grant.
According to the agency, 3.2 million applicants have been approved, while 1.2 million have been paid already.
“Payments are still in progress and SASSA still needs to do a verification check before any payments can be done.”
While applications are processed daily, the major delays come from the necessary verification methods, which SASSA has to do with other institutions.
“We continue to work hard to ensure that those who qualify get what is due to them. Our main aim is to support the government in alleviating poverty, especially during these difficult times. However, we have to follow the required processes and we appeal for patience from those whose applications we have not reached so far,” Memela stressed.
The CEO has also advised beneficiaries to use their own accounts, and not those of others, and to ensure their details are exactly as they appear on their identity document.
“Personal information is very important because during a verification check, should we find that the information provided during the application does not correspond with the identity document information, that might result in the application being rejected,” Memela said.