Please find an attached soundbite by Bridget Masango MP
The DA calls on the Minister of Social Development, Lindiwe Zulu, to allow for payment of grants for existing beneficiaries as well as clear grant payments owed for the month of April. On Friday, the Department of Social Development announced that all eligible recipients, including those who received the grant previously, must re-apply.
The SRD grant was introduced in 2020 to support those who experienced economic hardship as a result of the pandemic. SASSA spokesperson, Paseka Letsatsi highlighted that only after government has amended the regulations from the Disaster Management Act to Social Assistance act, will new applications be considered. Letsatsi said that no applications would be processed until the covid-19 regulations have been amended.
What is concerning however, is that those who have previously applied and qualified for their SRD grant will have to re-apply. This announcement comes close to three weeks after many were set to receive their grants for the month of April. Many need to travel great distances, spend little funds they do have on transport, to visit SASSA offices and wait for hours in long queues.
Additionally, the burden that sits on SASSA to process all SRD grants is great and will only cause further delays in delivery. Considering that applicants whose grants have been wrongfully declined, many have been waiting for their appeal outcomes since August 2021. Such delays cannot occur in the new applications process of the SRD grants. SASSA must therefore consider the delivery of existing grants where beneficiaries have already been vetted and verified.
It is regretful that when there are legal or administrative challenges, that no provisions are implemented to ensure beneficiaries still receive their grants. Grants play a critical role in improving the standards of living in society and ensuring the most vulnerable are protected from extreme poverty and hunger. It is therefore unfortunate that beneficiaries will not receive their grants as a result of this legality. The DA will not allow inefficiencies in government to worsen the vulnerabilities of already impoverished South Africans.