The focus of the 2019 Black Sash Community Based Monitoring (CBM) programme is to monitor compliance with the SASSA/SAPO Service Level Agreement (SLA) at SAPO branches and pay points, within the context of the new state-led hybrid payment model. This report is based on five case studies from KwaZulu Natal and data collected from 1,205 beneficiaries at 20 sites across South Africa.

Click here to download the report.

"The Black Sash has criticised the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) for its handling of the Easy Pay Everywhere accounts that are marketed to social grant recipients.

And in its review of Sassa’s latest monthly report to the Constitutional Court, the Black Sash also questioned Sassa’s ability to manage the vast majority of payments without Net1 subsidiary Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) after March 31.

The Black Sash did not believe the South African Post Office was ready to assume a significant role and noted that much of its planned involvement was at the testing stage."

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Tags: #HandsOffOurGrants

"The search for a new service provider to assist the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) with cash payments of social grants will only be in place by July, MPs have heard. Sassa admitted in court papers filed on Monday that there was no feasible solution to assist around 2.8 million beneficiaries - roughly 26% of the scheme, who receive their grants in cash - before the April 1 deadline."

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Tags: #HandsOffOurGrants

Public Broadcast Documentaries

The Black Sash commissioned seasoned broadcast journalists Crystal Orderson & Johann Abrahams to produce current affairs documentaries concerning the difficulties facing social grant beneficiaries within the context of the national grant payment system.

The first in the series, entitled Grant Grabs, was an investigative documentary which was screened in March 2015 on Special Assignment on SABC 3. The cases featured in the documentary was sourced from community partners such as the Paarl, Qedusizi and Lebaleng Advice Offices. We had requests from several parliamentarians and other journalists for copies. Over 300 copies of Grant Grabs were distributed, including to all paralegals attending the Dullah Omar School in 2015.

This was followed by a second documentary in 2017, titled Grant Grabs 2: Challenges with seeking Recourse, which highlighted how challenging it is for social grant holders to dispute and be refunded for unauthorised, fraudulent, and unlawful deductions from their SASSA bank accounts held by Grindrod Bank. This was broadcast on SABC 2's current affairs show, Cutting Edge,  which meant it was broadcast to about 1 113 691 viewers. 

In 2018, Crystal and Johann produced a third documentary, entitled Grant Grabs 3: The Green Card, which focused on the disturbing financial practices of the EasyPay Everywhere card (also known as the Green Card). The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) has warned grant holders against signing up for this account and recommended that beneficiaries should rather remain with their SASSA branded bank accounts. Media reports indicate that the number of social grant beneficiaries who sign up for the EasyPay Everywhere account has escalated to over 2 million account holders.

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"In January, Minister of Social Development Bathabile Dlamini will have to explain why she should not be personally liable for legal costs of the Black Sash and Freedom Under Law application to the Constitutional Court with regard to the extension of the illegal CPS contract in March this year. In her witness statement Dlamini denies that work streams she set up at the cost of R47-million and which were declared irregular by treasury, had acted as a parallel structure to Sassa and undermined the agency's work. Dlamini, unsurprisingly also takes no responsibility for her role in the mess."

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Tags: #HandsOffOurGrants

Steps for social grant beneficiaries to follow if they fall victim to unauthorised, fraudulent or unlawful deductions:

  • The most effective method for recourse is to visit a SASSA branch.
  • Beneficiaries will need to fill out a BENEFICIARY DISPUTE FORM which captures the details of the dispute. 
  • The affidavit can be completed with a SASSA appointed Commissioner of Oaths at a local SASSA office or at a local Police Station. 
  • The beneficiary dispute form must be handed in together with the affidavit. 
  • The affidavit is crucial if the beneficiary would like to request a refund for monies
    deducted from their account. 
  • Once this is completed, a reference number is issued and the follow up process should
    be explained. 
  • Beneficiaries can call a SASSA toll free helpline for assistance. 
  • Social grant beneficiaries are also welcome to contact the Black Sash National Helpline
    for FREE paralegal services.
  • SASSA CallCentre Beneficiaries can also contact the SASSA call centre on 0800601011.
  • Black Sash HelpLine
    Alternatively, please contact the Black Sash National toll free Help Line for free
    paralegal assistance on 072 66 33 739 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. You can also
    send a text or send a please call me and a paralegal will be in touch shortly.