SASSA SRD News Update Today 11th November 2022
The Department of Social Development has seen a decline in the number of people getting the Social Relief of Distress award, while failing to fulfill its aim of distributing the grant to more than 390 000 South Africans.Financial assistance for low-income South Africans who are struggling to make ends meet led to the creation of the Social Relief of Distress (SRD) award.
At a total cost of R391 million, the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) planned to distribute 390,880 SRD grants on behalf of the Department of Social Development (DSD).
Despite this, it has been claimed that just 167 802 SRD grants, totaling R191.755 million, were distributed. A total of 42.93 percent of the objective has been accomplished.
It was recently stated by Minister of Social Development Lindiwe Zulu that 7.5 million people had received the R350 award, but that the grant’s aim had not been met and that the number of persons receiving the SRD grant had decreased.
Social handouts such as the SRD grant and others remain the government’s primary weapon against poverty and inequality.
A total of 10.9 million people benefited from the SRD award, which includes the R350 special Covid-19 SRD grant.
In the time between May 2020 and August 2021, Sassa paid out SRD grants to people who didn’t qualify for them. This may have reduced the total number of people who received SRD grants from the government.
Poor internal controls, designed to conduct validations and prohibit payments to ineligible individuals, are considered to blame for this.
Sassa did not ensure that there were effective, efficient, and transparent systems of financial and risk management and other related internal controls in place, which resulted in a violation of section 51(1) (a) I of the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA). Due to this infraction, the DSD has suffered significant monetary damage.
The accounting authority disagreed on the PFMA violation and maintained that Sassa had taken necessary steps to prevent payments from being made to ineligible applicants by using the best data available to the Agency prior to the payments being made.
The AGSA has requested that Sassa implement measures to verify the eligibility of SRD award recipients before disbursing any funds.
To avoid erroneous payments, AGSA has asked Sassa to follow the necessary processes for authenticating beneficiaries. Because of this, they must regularly update their infrastructure to accommodate new rules.