R350 Social Relief Grant

Lindiwe Zulu in talks with Treasury about extending R350 Covid-19 grant

Social development minister Lindiwe Zulu says she is engaging the Treasury to see if the R350 social relief grant can be extended. File photo.

Social development minister Lindiwe Zulu says she is engaging the Treasury to see if the R350 social relief grant can be extended. File photo.

Social development minister Lindiwe Zulu says her department has put in a request to the National Treasury to get the R350 Covid-19 social relief grant extended, as the country grapples with the third wave of the virus.

“We did submit our request for the continuation of the grant. We are in the third wave already right now and therefore we are waiting to see whether it will be possible to extend the grant,” Zulu said at a media briefing on Friday.

She was, however, conscious of the financial constraints the Treasury was going through during this time.

SA Social Security Agency (Sassa) CEO Totsie Memela said they were in the process of claiming back money from those who fraudulently received the social relief grant.

“We are working with the centre, which is looking at all the different categories of fraudulent transactions that happened at the start of the pandemic, to make sure due process is continued in terms of making sure those people are punished,” said Memela.

She said some of those who received the grant had left the country. Her department stopped payments to those people, while investigating whether they were SA citizens.

The other category of fraudulent cases includes 241 public servants who received grants erroneously. Noted was that many of them were learnerships and not traditional public servants.

“What we’ve done is, we’ve written to all DGs [to] find out if those people are still in the system so we can collect from those people who were paid.”

Memela said they had also paid the bulk of people who had applied for the social relief grant but not received any money.

“We still have people who have not been paid for February, March and April.

“Our intention is to make sure that in the next 30 to 60 days, we clear the floor and pay everybody we have not been able to pay.”

Zulu said all 250 community nutrition and development centres across the country would remain open to provide takeaway meals to vulnerable groups.

“We will continue utilising a hybrid model of providing food parcels, cash and vouchers throughout the nine provinces and through Sassa’s social relief of distress (SRD) programme for eligible households in distress,” she said.

“We appeal to all grant recipients that they do not need to collect their grants on the day it becomes available, but can collect their grants on any day, as their monies will remain in their accounts and will not be taken away from them.”

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