Social Development Minister, Bathabile Dlamini on Friday announced the amendments to the Social Assistance Act. The new regulation will put an end to companies making unauthorised and unlawful deductions from social grant accounts.
The “Hands Off Our Grants Campaign” led by social justice and human rights group, Black Sash, has for years been trying to get the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) to prevent these unlawful debits.
CapeTalk’s John Maytham spoke to Elroy Paulus, Advocacy Manager for The Black Sash about the Minister’s announcement.
We have people that we have interviewed and engaged with. Their money is being stripped completely and the deductions have happened without their authorisation.— Elroy Paulus, Advocacy Manager for The Black Sash
Listen to the full conversation below:
Paulus says that the companies that are continuing with the practice of causing hardships to the poor should be named and stopped.
The amendments stipulate that beneficiaries need to go to a Sassa office and give written permission to Sassa for a deduction.
It further states that children’s grants will no longer be eligible for funeral cover deductions.
According to Paulus, Black Sash has chosen to be supportive of the amendments to the Social Assistance Act .