According to the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa), those who receive more than R350 into their bank accounts will automatically have their Special Covid-19 Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grant application declined. The system automatically rejects these applicants because their bank balance exceeds the maximum amount.
“Do not make a reapplication. If you make a reapplication, the system will automatically reject you,” said Sassa’s spokesperson Paaseka Letsatsi. However, those who feel they have been rejected unfairly are welcome to appeal the decision.
R350 grant applications are screened by third parties, such as the Department of Home Affairs, South African Revenue Service (SARS), and Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) to determine whether the applicant is deserving of the grant. The information found by the third parties is relayed to Sassa, who will then decide if the applicant meets the basic requirements of the grant.
Many applicants who had unsuccessful applications have stated that they feel that they have been excluded from the grant unfairly. Although they may have a bank balance of more than R350, they are still in need of some financial assistance, especially as the cost of living increases.
Sassa has stated that they are having regular meetings with SARS, the Department of Home Affairs, and UIF to find solutions to these problems, particularly in the cases where the applicants are unfairly excluded from the grant.
“So far we have observed that they [the meetings] raise positive spin-offs in the sense that they can identify backlogs and solve issues,” stated Sassa’s spokesperson.
Letsatsi stated that R625 as a bank balance would be the new threshold for the Special Covid-19 SRD grant. Currently, the threshold for a bank balance is R350 to qualify for the grant.
According to Sassa, the department is still trying to mandate the new threshold. Those who have been excluded from the system because of the current threshold will be able to appeal the decision and hopefully have their application accepted.