Social development stops illegal deductions off Sassa grants

Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini issued new regulations aimed at stopping illegal deductions from the accounts of those receiving social grants.

Brenton van Vrede, Acting Deputy Director General, South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) spoke to Stephen Grootes about the new regulations.

The minister has today announced that she has published the set of regulations, and they will be gazetted today.

Brenton van Vrede, Acting Deputy Director General, South African Social Security Agency (SASSA)

We are putting an end to all the deductions that should not be being made off the Sassa card, like airtime and loans.

Brenton van Vrede, Acting Deputy Director General, South African Social Security Agency (SASSA)

The only deduction that can still be made from a social grant is funeral insurance. This will have provisions though, says van Vrede. It may only apply to older persons.

The department is working on providing a state funeral benefit. But until such time as this is in place, they feel they would be blocking people access to a funeral benefit.

They are hoping to have this in place by year end, and then the deductions will no longer be allowed to be made for private funeral policies off the social grants.

With regard to the new regulations, van Vrede says they were inundated with dealing with disputes, and regulations where the only option.

We've tried recourse mechanisms, trying to assist people to get their money back. Most of the disputes we've lodged, about 77% were upheld...but we were so overwhelmed by dispute mechanism...so it needs to be upheld through legislation.

Brenton van Vrede, Acting Deputy Director General, South African Social Security Agency (SASSA)
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