SASSA Failure to Disburse January Child Support Grants. Millions of individuals depend on social grants for their monthly sustenance. However, in January 2024, a substantial number of grant beneficiaries experienced a failure to receive their social grants.
Payment Glitch Causes Disruption
The South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) disclosed that a payment glitch hindered the distribution of social grants to thousands of beneficiaries in January.
Diverse Range of Permanent Grants Affected
Sassa administers 19 million permanent grants, encompassing various categories such as the Older Persons pension grant, Disability grant, War Veterans grant, Care Dependency grant, Foster Child grant, Child Support grant, Child Support grant Top-Up, and Grant-in-aid.
Payment Issues Affect 70,000 Beneficiaries
Approximately 70,000 social grant beneficiaries encountered payment challenges in January, leading to frustration as their cards were declined during ATM withdrawals.
Bank Verification Discrepancies Explained
Paseka Letsatsi, the Sassa spokesperson, attributed the non-payments to discrepancies in bank verifications, such as misspelled names or missing letters. The agency assured beneficiaries that corrective measures were underway to address these human errors promptly.
Active Efforts to Resolve Issues
Letsatsi mentioned, “We have tracked down all those that have not received their money, and the number is 70,000…Once we have called you, you will receive your money in no time.” Beneficiaries were encouraged to visit their local post office branch if they had not received their funds.
Concerns Raised by Advocacy Groups
#PayTheGrants and Black Sash reported numerous complaints regarding suspended grants nationwide. While Sassa denied exceptional circumstances, Elizabeth Raiters from #PayTheGrants asserted that Sassa officials acknowledged a “system error” being addressed.
Worries about Timely Resolution
The situation has raised concerns about resolving the issues before the next payment run in February. Elizabeth Raiters expressed apprehension over the impact on beneficiaries, particularly as children returned to school amidst financial uncertainties.
Reports of Systematic Issues Persist
Thandi Hanekom, Black Sash Western Cape coordinator, highlighted an increase in reports of erroneous grant suspensions. Sassa national payment system has been plagued by recurring problems over the past two years.
Historical Challenges with Sassa Payment System
In September 2023, a “technical glitch” left thousands of social grant recipients without money, disrupting payments for those utilizing Sassa Gold cards.