The SA Social Security Agency (Sassa) was hit by accidental double payments in some areas, and no payments in others, due to glitches in the system as it tried to make payment days less crowded by extending the dates.
KwaZulu-Natal Sassa spokesperson Sandy Godlwana said some beneficiaries had found that their money was not available. She said that some recipients in the Western Cape had been paid double by mistake.
"It's Western Cape that has an issue of double payments. We didn't have an issue of double payments, but we had an issue of people not receiving the payment," she said.
"We apologise, it was an inconvenience for them."
However, people can go and fetch their money from 15:00 on Monday afternoon from merchant banks or the Post Office.
They can also get their money on Tuesday morning if they prefer.
Godlwana said that Sassa's intention was to prevent pensioners and the disabled from being exposed to large crowds during the coronavirus pandemic, and that they were only trying to help when they set aside the special days for these categories of beneficiary.
They are not yet sure what caused the glitch.
Comment from the national Sassa spokesperson was not immediately available and spokespersons for the Department of Social Development were also asked for further information.
According to Voice of the Cape, approximately 435 000 people in the Western Cape received duplicate payments, which were now being reversed. News24 has requested comment on this, which will be added when received.
Only older people and the disabled will be paid their social grants today and on Tuesday 05 May so that we avoid the crowding at stores #staysafe #StayAtHomeSA #day39oflockdown @GovernmentZA @The_DSD pic.twitter.com/2K5r8R0Sfb— SASSA (@OfficialSASSA) May 4, 2020
Two Post Office employees in the Western Cape told News24 that they had found out that something was amiss when at least five beneficiaries said they had tried to use their cards at a supermarket, but that the money was not showing in their accounts, or that they had been paid double.
Sassa's offices are closed due to the coronavirus pandemic and so nobody is available in person to handle queries. People can only call the helpline.
The Post Office employees said they were unable to do anything to help them, other than lend a sympathetic ear and tell them to wait for further instructions.
SASSA offices are closed during the lockdown and cannot take in new applications. You will need to apply for the Social Relief of Distress in the meantime by contacting the SASSA customer care toll free on 0800 60 10 11 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org— SASSA (@OfficialSASSA) May 4, 2020
The Department of Social Development announced a number of extra payments to help families through the Covid-19 pandemic, which has led to shops and businesses being closed, jobs being lost, and children being kept out of school.