Social justice and human rights advocacy group, the Black Sash, has taken the Department of Social Development, South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) and Net1 group to court over illegal deductions from social grants.
According to the latest reports from Sassa, 500 000 out of the 16 million beneficiaries are affected by these illegal deductions, being made for loans, airtime, electricity and other services.
Black Sash national advocacy manager, Elroy Paulus, says the number of people seeking recourse and compensation that was reported to Parliament is a tiny faction of the full amount. This is due to under-reporting.
Only pensioners and people receiving disability grants are allowed to have funeral policies deducted from their social grants, which makes all other deductions illegal, explains Paulus.
The only legal deduction according to the Social Assessment Act and Regulations promoted on the 6th of May this year, has been deductions at the request and in writing by the Sassa beneficiary for one deduction not exceeding 10% of the value of the grant for the funeral scheme or funeral grant.— Elroy Paulus, Black Sash national advocacy manager
In so far as you cannot have deductions come of temporary grants, foster care grants or children't grants. Only people on state old age pension and disability grants at their request directly with Sassa are allowed to have these funeral grants.— Elroy Paulus, Black Sash national advocacy manager