The South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) has announced that top-ups on social grants will return to their normal “pre-Covid” amounts in November, a decision that has been met with a backlash from non-profit organizations (NGOs).
The grants affected by the decision include old-age and linked grants, disability and linked grants, foster care grants, care dependency grants, and child support grants.
Child support grant beneficiaries received an extra R300 in May and R500 between June and October, while other grant beneficiaries received an additional R250 for six months.
Sassa confirmed in a brief statement on Monday there would no extension to the top-up.
The announcement also comes in light of the medium-term budget policy statement by Finance Minister Tito Mboweni on Wednesday, with some NGOs hoping the top-ups would be extended until at least March next year.
The Covid-19 pandemic has led to millions of jobs being lost during lockdown, which have not been recovered leaving many workers still unemployed.
The government announced the top-up grant in April, with the temporary relief grant aimed at assisting households whose suffered the consequences of the pandemic and helping insure food insecurity.
All the top up amounts for the social grants (Old Age, Disability, War Veterans, Child Support, Foster Child and Care Dependency) have come to an end. The grant amounts as from November will revert to pre-covid amounts. There is no extension to the top up amounts. #SASSACARES
— SASSA (@OfficialSASSA) October 23, 2020
Meanwhile, Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu extended some grant payments until the end of the year after a Government Gazette was published last month.
The new directives by Zulu meant that beneficiaries who either claim temporary disability or temporary care dependency grants will be able to receive cash after the minister extended the payments to December.
The gazetted regulations read: “Temporary disability grants which lapsed in July 2020 or are due to lapse during the months of August to October, will not lapse until the end of 31 December and must continue to be paid until 31 December 2020.
“Care dependency grants, which were extended to October 2020, will not lapse in October 2020, but will continue to be paid until 31 December 2020.”
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