150k SASSA beneficiaries did not get their Jan. grant payments

At least 150 000 beneficiaries have not been paid their social grant payments for January.

This was confirmed by the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa). According to the agency, the delay was caused by a verification process conducted every month to prevent fraud, which includes background checking of banking details, ID numbers, names, and addresses.


Sassa spokesperson Paseka Letsatsi says beneficiaries will be paid once their personal details have been verified.

"We can confirm that about 150,000 were affected by non-payment; this was due to us doing the verification processes where we communicated with them that they must come and verify if they are still alive. The intention is Sassa may have picked up fraudulent activities taking place within those grants.

"We have instructed our provinces to interact directly with the beneficiaries, and they will give us an update on the progress made. This is not specific to any grant. Sometimes, you will find that the ID number does not match the account number opened.

"Sassa urges recipients to provide correct banking details when they apply for their social grants for the first time or when they amend their personal details. Providing Sassa with incorrect banking details may delay the availability of the money into the beneficiary bank account."

In September 2023, another glitch left thousands of beneficiaries without payment for weeks.

DA Shadow Minister of Social Development Bridget Masango says the government should ensure that the payments are made as some beneficiaries depend on it.

"For many mothers, the Child Support Grant is their only income and SASSA’s payment failure places additional strain on them at the start of the school year when they have to purchase school uniforms, shoes, and other supplies – never mind ensuring that their children do not become part of South Africa’s horrendous malnutrition statistics.’’

It was further revealed in an answer to a parliamentary question, that Social Development Minister, Lindiwe Zulu, 75 000 beneficiaries that are deceased have received grant payments over the past three financial years.

She was responding to a written parliamentary question from the

"Following the other payment of R141 million on social grants to deceased recipients during the last three years. The Democratic Alliance will be submitting further questions to the minister in order to ascertain how robust the system is and how the money would be recovered,’’ said DA’s Jacques Smalle.

"We also call on Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoledi to conduct an audit to what percentage of deaths in South Africa are reported within the first required 72 hours. We will also request an investigation to determine whether these wrongful payments form part to defraud the state,’’ he added.

The Social Development Department however said that no all of the 74 000 are ghost accounts.

‘’ As much as we are aware of some corrupt activities taking place which our Fraud and compliance unit is dealing with on a daily basis, as SASSA we can confirm that majority of this is not due to corruption but rather due to timing of reporting of death by the responsible family members vs the date on which SASSA Extracts Payments for the affected clients,’’ said Paseka Letsatsi, SASSA Spokesperson.

‘’ The number of 74 000 deceased beneficiaries as reported in the media, is actually number of beneficiaries who were reported to have died in the past three years. Meaning that of the 18 million clients paid monthly by SASSA, there is an average of 2 055 clients that died on a monthly basis in the past three years whose circumstances could have been one of the few reasons outlined which are not in SASSA’s control.’’


Done By: Mitchum George


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