Confusion reigns over unclaimed SASSA SRD grant payments
Reconciliation by the Department of Social Development finds billions of SASSA SRD grant payments remain unfulfilled for the year. But why?
That’s correct, for all the debate over the future of SASSA SRD grant payments, it appears billions of Rands of SRD endowments didn’t have any place to go last year. And the DSD dutifully returned the funds back to the National Treasury.
SASSA SRD GRANT PAYMENTS
SASSA SRD grants payments were first introduced during the COVID-19 pandemic to assist impoverished South Africans. However, City Press has reported that the program has upwards of 6 million people on the system who applied for the grant but did not receive any form of monthly payout.
Essentially the identities and details of these 6 million people can no longer be verified. These ghost people, in turn, means a real reduction in the number of SASSA SRD grant recipients to 7 million (from 13 million). According to documents, R9 billion was returned to government last October and an additional R6 billion in March by the DSD.
WHERE’S THE MONEY?
And yet despite all this money being returned, Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana is threatening to shut down the scheme. 1 November 2023 is the date for his highly anticipated Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS).
DSD spokespeople say many SASSA SRD grant applicants don’t respond to SMSes, while many of their bank accounts were no longer operational. News of the grant scheme’s R15-billion budget adjustment needs to be seen within the context of yet another SASSA technical glitch that saw 500 000 people without money. And the resignation of South African Post Bank’s board, which surely raises questions over its effective governance going forward.
SASSA GRANT WINDFALL
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What do you think of R15-billion in SASSA SRD grant payments going nowhere? Does this show the scheme can be closed down or should each remaining recipient receive the balance?
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