Grants for elderly, disabled to be paid earlier to counter spread of Covid-19
Sassa will pay social grants for the month of April to the elderly and people with disabilities from March 30 and 31.
Other beneficiaries will be able to access their grants from April 1.
The earlier payment of grants for the elderly and disabled is in response to the state of national disaster announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa on March 15 to counter the spread of coronavirus.
Among measures announced by Ramaphosa was a ban on any gathering of more than 100 people to encourage social distancing.
Sassa said since Ramaphosa’s announcements, it had engaged with the relevant stakeholders — including the retail and banking sector and the consumer goods council — to determine a feasible approach to pay social grants earlier to avoid congestion at retail stores and other pay points.
“We are aware that the impact of Covid-19 will be felt much harder by the most vulnerable in society — especially the elderly, hence we have decided for earlier payments for older persons and persons with disabilities to ease congestion and overcrowding.
“I also wish to thank sectors — most importantly, the banking and retail sectors, for working with us in this regard,” social development minister Lindiwe Zulu said.
Zulu said the department would monitor all pay points, especially those in the rural areas, to ensure that payments were distributed in line with the Disaster Management Act provisions and make sure that all the necessary precautions were in place.
Zulu said for other grant recipients, additional measures would be implemented to manage numbers at all pay points.
“This is to ensure that hygiene protocols for everyone are strictly followed and social distancing is maintained,” Zulu said.
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