Grants check set to kick off soon
Johannesburg - Re-registering more than 15 million social grant beneficiaries will begin on March 1, Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini said on Friday.
"We must state upfront that this is not a process for beneficiaries to do new applications but to verify their identification," she told reporters in Pretoria.
"Over the years, the auditor general has raised concerns about the manual system that the SA Social Security Agency (Sassa) has been using."
Dlamini said government wanted to use the automated biometric-based payment system process to eliminate fraud and corruption and to create a solid database of all beneficiaries.
"We want to allay the fears of our people and assure them that their grants will not be cut during this process," Dlamini said.
"The re-registration process of beneficiaries will be done at their local pay points."
She said authorities hoped to eliminate or clamp down on people who received social grants fraudulently.
"We have identified some hotspots in the country, especially in the Northern Cape, Eastern Cape, Western Cape, and the southern parts of KwaZulu-Natal."
Details of beneficiaries would be checked against the home affairs population register, the SA Revenue Service database and the Government Employees Pensions Fund.
Dlamini said the first phase would end in May and beneficiaries should continue to collect their grants at their respective pay points, including banks.
Phase two would begin on June 1 and end on December 31.
"Sassa will conduct home visits for beneficiaries over 75 years of age and bedridden beneficiaries," Dlamini said.
"Sassa will also engage in a rigorous information campaign to educate and mobilise beneficiaries, their friends, community members, and organisations about the new system."
She said government, through the department of social development and Sassa, provided social grants to about 15.3 million South Africans, 10.3 million of whom were children.