Maintenance payments: We have no food, says mom as she anxiously awaits payment

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The Department of Justice and Constitutional Development has announced that child maintenance payments will be delayed. (Photo: Mary-Anne Gontsana)
The Department of Justice and Constitutional Development has announced that child maintenance payments will be delayed. (Photo: Mary-Anne Gontsana)
  • A mother has been left helpless following a delay in maintenance payments to beneficiaries.
  • The Department of Justice and Constitutional Development confirmed that some functionality of the MojaPay system had been recovered and most maintenance payments had been processed.
  • According to the department, money is expected to reflect in beneficiary accounts in the next few days.

A Bloemfontein mother who gets her child's maintenance money through the courts has described how she has been left helpless following complications in the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development's financial management system affecting the payment of grants.

The 36-year-old woman, who preferred to remain anonymous, said she last received maintenance money for her son in March and fears that she will find herself unable to provide for her family unless the issue is resolved.

She is unemployed, and her son turned 18 in May. Her son's father passed away a few years ago and is receiving maintenance money from the deceased estate.

The frustrated woman said she never had issues with maintenance payments until now. 

She explained to News24:

I didn't get anything. I called them, and they told me that it (the system) was still down. I do not know when it will be fixed. I am phoning every day.

"When I went to the Bloemfontein's Master of the High Court Guardian Fund office on Friday, they told me the system is still down and they don't know when it will return," she said.

READ | Justice department says child maintenance payment will be delayed

With no clarity as to when she will receive payment and no alternative, the mother fears that she will find herself unable to provide for her family.

"They didn't say anything about cash payments. We have nothing at home, [no] food and everything," she claimed.

When approached for comment, the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development sent a statement dated 17 September 2021.The statement confirmed that some functionality of the MojaPay (the department's financial management system) had been recovered and most maintenance payments had been processed.

"The payments were made on 15 September 2021, and the money is expected to reflect in beneficiary accounts in the next few days," the department said.

ALSO READ | Justice department handled cyber attack badly, says Tlakula

This comes after the department previously announced that its IT system was interrupted due to a security breach, which led to a delay in maintenance payments.

The department further extended its thanks to the Information Technology (IT) experts from the department, industry partners, and selected organs of state who have been working hard to contain the problem and restore systems affected by the recent ransomware attack. 

"To date, great progress had been made to contain the spread while restoring critical services to the public.

"While the Department is not yet in a position to determine the exact date when all systems will be restored, it is encouraged [by] the progress made by the IT experts thus far," it said.

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