Question NW2068 to the Minister of Social Development

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14 October 2020 - NW2068

Profile picture: Tafeni, Ms N

Tafeni, Ms N to ask the Minister of Social Development

(a) What total number of applicants for the Covid-19 social relief grant have had their applications approved, but are yet to receive the specified grant and (b) by what date will she ensure that all the specified applicants whose applications were approved will receive their social relief grants?


Below is a table depicting the applications for each month which were considered, rejected, approved and paid.






Applications considered for the month¹

6 605 445

7 518 308

8 346 136

8 881 380

Applications Rejected²

2 180 725

2 454 765

2 770 122

Means tested

Applications Approved

4 424 720

5 063 543

5 576 014


Applications in Payment Process³

1 335

331 796

774 154


Clients Paid

4 423 385

4 731 747

4 801 860



Every month every application from the previous months as well as new applications received in that month are reconsidered and re-verified against all databases (even if they were rejected in the previous months) as circumstances of applicants may have changed.

Validation Process to determine rejected or approved²

During the consideration and validation process, applications are validated against various databases such as SASSA Social Grants, UIF, NSFAS, Persal, Correctional Services etc. Applications are also sent to SARS to validate whether the applicants are registered on the IRP-5 database at SARS and results are then provided to SASSA.

Any findings which AGSA may have raised are also considered and applied, since AGSA has databases which SASSA does not yet have.

From the month of August the bank accounts of applicants are also tested to determine whether there was any income into the account in the prior month.

The above tests are all applied to confirm that approved applicants have no income, as required in terms of the signed Directions for this grant.

Applications in the Payment Process³

Once an applicant is approved he/she is informed of the outcome and his/her banking preference is requested (either being paid in his own account or paid through cash send to his mobile number). Unfortunately a significant number of clients are slow in providing details, provide incorrect details or want their money to be paid into someone else’s account. (SASSA cannot pay the money into someone else’s account or cellphone number.)When an applicant provides the banking details, an account verification process is undertaken whereby National Treasury verifies the bank details with the Banks. This process ensures that the bank account belongs to the applicant and that all details are correct.

As indicated, experience has shown that the applicants make quite a number of errors such as indicating their account is a savings account instead of a transmission account, etc. The technical team attempts to resolve these minor challenges for instance incorrect account type (saving vs transmission etc.). Where it is not possible to assist in resolving the challenges, SASSA opens accounts with Post Bank for the clients who did not provide banking details, provided incorrect details or where the bank verification process failed. For high risk clients, accounts are opened with Post Bank for initial face-to-face contact and verification.From August cellphone numbers are validated and added to a specialized Risk Management Process to ensure that SASSA pays the correct applicant.

The group of applicants outstanding for May, June and July are all clients where SASSA has not received banking details, received incorrect details or other challenges exist. The remaining unpaid May clients are currently in the process of being contacted individually by SASSA to assist them in resolving their challenges, where after the same will be done for the June and July clients.

SASSA has recently concluded a week where clients were invited to update their banking details and all these details have now been sent for account verification. It is trusted that a number of the June and July clients would now have provided their banking details which will facilitate the payments.

For the August clients, the means test with banks have been concluded and payments will commence from 10 September. The delay has been as a result of the above processes, but also to stagger the payments which are accessed through the Post Office, which has been busy with the normal social grant payments until 7 September 2020.The staggering of payments is done to limit the numbers of people who report to Post Offices daily to collect their money, to minimise the exposure to the COVID threat.


Approved by the Minister of Social Development


National AssemblyWritten Reply: 2068 of 2020

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