24 February 2021 - NW109
Abrahams, Ms ALA to ask the Minister of Social Development
(1)With reference to the three types of homeless persons, namely chronic, transitional and episodic, what (a) is the total number of persons currently registered as beneficiaries of the SA Social Security Agency (SASSA) grant and (b) type of SASSA grants do the beneficiaries receive; (2) whether the specified beneficiaries access their grants on a regular basis; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the relevant details; (3) what initiatives exist to ensure better access to SASSA grants by homeless persons in the Republic
1. SASSA does not carry information as to whether an applicant for a grant is homeless or not. Any South African who meets the qualifying criteria for a grant is eligible to apply for, and receive the social grant.
Applicants for the R350 special relief grant also do not have to provide addresses, so it is not known how many of these clients are homeless.
2. The grants for all approved grant beneficiaries are paid on a monthly basis. All social grants are paid into a bank account, and can be accessed by the client at his/her convenience. Even the SASSA/SAPO card is a bank account into which the funds are paid.
Clients who receive the R350 special relief grant and who do not have bank accounts, collect these at the post office. As at end January, there are approximately 590 000 clients who have not yet accessed their grant from the post office. The reasons for them not collecting the funds is not known. However, all have been sent messages to remind them to collect the available funds.
3. Application channels for all social grants are available for every citizen. SASSA has offices throughout the country at which application can be made. There is no discrimination against citizens who are homeless.
One of the challenges which may be experienced by homeless applicants may be the inability to produce the required documents, as legislated in the Social Assistance Act, 2004. However, for all required documents, provision is made in the Act for an affidavit to be provided as an alternative, so this should not prevent eligible citizens from applying.
In addition to the above channels, applications may be lodged on line. SASSA is also exploring alternative channels through which applications can be lodged, including whatsapp, following the success of the process introduced for the R350 special relief grant.