The South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) in the Western Cape was plunged into chaos when the double payouts were transferred to the bank accounts of 435 004 Capetonians, who receive disability and old age allowances.
Social grants in these two categories amount to R1 860 per person per month. Furthermore, the first extra payments of R250, which pres. Cyril Ramaphosa announced, added this month.
With double payments of R2 110 to the more than 400 000 people, this could mean that Sassa transferred up to R917 million to their accounts.
Monday’s chaos was exacerbated by the fact that other elderly people or people registered for disability grants did not receive their social grants again.
In a statement, Sassa blamed this “technical error with the system” on this state of affairs.
Sassa had to ask the Reserve Bank to intervene and notify banks of the double payments so that it could be stopped whenever possible.
In cases where the double payments could be reversed, this was done.
Where people have already withdrawn the double amount from their bank accounts, with the next round of payments in June they will receive no money.
Shivani Wahab, Sassa’s director of communications in the Western Cape, said the payout error affects 83% of those receiving social grants in the Western Cape.
By Monday afternoon, Sassa could not say which banks could stop the double payments.
Wahab said Sassa could not confirm how many of the double payments could be stopped by the banks on time.
She said that only when the June payments are calculated will it be possible to say with certainty how much money has now been paid out.
There is great concern that people will spend the extra money and then spend no money in June.