Millions of vulnerable people rely on grants from the government to survive. Ensuring that Sassa effectively distributes grants is critical in reducing extreme poverty in the county.
The South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) distributes social support to millions of vulnerable individuals living in the country. These grants ensure that vulnerable individuals can purchase basic goods and services.
Sassa CEO Busisiwe Memela-Khambula believes that the grant administration agency has a key role in ensuring that no South African lives below the extreme poverty line by 2030
This is one of the key goals set in the National Development Plan (NDP). The NDP aims to eliminate poverty and reduce inequality by 2030. The goals set out in the plan can be realised through the growth of an inclusive economy, building capability, enhancing the capacity of the state and promoting leadership and partnerships throughout society.
Ensuring that Sassa fulfils its obligation to administer grants to deserving beneficiaries is critical in achieving the goals set out in the NDP. Sassa has 8 000 staff members, 9 regional offices and 46 district offices, with 389 local offices and 1 163
service points to ensure vulnerable people receive their grants monthly.
Busisiwe-Memela explained that grants are currently distributed to more than 26 million people living in South Africa. Approximately 18,7 million of the grants distributed by Sassa are permanent.
“Sassa provides monthly income support to over 18.7 million South Africans which includes older persons, people with disabilities, war veterans, children and people in distress.”
Department of Social Development (DSD) deputy minister Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu acknowledged that her department and Sassa must improve their communication. This will aid in ensuring challenges facing grant beneficiaries are addressed.
The SRD Grant
It is estimated that 8 million people are currently benefiting from the Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grant. The grant was first introduced in 2020 but has been extended on several occasions and continues to assist unemployed people living in the country.
Rapid assessment of the implementation and utilisation of the SRD grant indicated that beneficiaries mostly used to buy food and shared it with household members.
It was further revealed that 71% of the surveyed applicants live in households with four or more family members demonstrating the impact of the grant.