Why Didn't 150,000 People Get Their January 2024 SASSA Grants?

Why Didn’t 150,000 People Get Their January 2024 SASSA Grants?

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By Anele Zulu

The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) has revealed why thousands of social grant beneficiaries did not receive their monthly payments in January 2024. The agency has also indicated when affected recipients can expect to be paid. So, what exactly happened?

Over 150,000 SASSA grant beneficiaries were impacted by recent payment issues that prevented them from accessing crucial financial support at the start of the year. Paseka Letsatsi, a spokesperson for SASSA stated that the payment problems stemmed from discrepancies in grant beneficiary details.

“The ID number does not correspond with what is appearing in the bank or you may find in some instances the details or the names as they are written when people change their payment method do not correspond,”

Letsatsi explained.

The problem was flagged by the Auditor General after potential fraudulent activity was detected. Scammers had exploited vulnerabilities in the system to improperly redirect grant funds.

“This matter was basically picked up by the AG [Auditor General] sharply so. Hence we had to make a decision to ensure that we pay the right grant to the correct person,” Letsatsi said.

Sassa emphasized the need for accurate and up-to-date personal information from all grant beneficiaries going forward. They are working diligently to verify identities and pay legitimate recipients while guarding against further phishing attempts.

Letsatsi denied that Sassa itself would suffer direct financial losses but noted potential costs involved in rectifying any confirmed fraudulent transactions. The agency is collaborating closely with stakeholders to guarantee both the security and timely delivery of social grants to deserving South Africans.

However, civil society organization #PayTheGrant has fielded numerous complaints from distressed community members regarding the payment delays. Elizabeth Raiters, Deputy Chair of #PayTheGrant, contends it is misleading to characterize the issue as a procedural error.

“This was done by SASSA, so they cannot call something an error if they suspend the grants,” Raiters stated.

She explained that the grant suspension could not have occurred at a worse time for vulnerable families. Many parents relied on the monthly payments to purchase essential items like stationary, shoes, and uniforms as their children return to school.

“Knowing children are going back to school it’s even making it worse as parents cannot afford any stationary, school shoes or school uniforms at the current moment,”


Furthermore, Raiters claimed it is unlawful for Sassa to halt grants without prior notification to recipients.

In response, SASSA has pledged that all verified eligible beneficiaries will receive double grant payments in February to compensate for the missed January disbursements. But #PayTheGrant remains unsatisfied.

Raiters has called upon Sassa to immediately reinstate any improperly suspended grants and guarantee prompt payment. Thousands of South Africa’s most economically disadvantaged citizens are depending on this vital financial assistance.

Resolving this grants crisis quickly and transparently is crucial to support struggling families and maintain public trust in the integrity of SASSA’s systems. Ongoing cooperation between government agencies, banks, and community advocates will be vital to avoid similar payment disruptions in the future.

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