South Africa Social Security Agency (SASSA)

Brief History
The Department of Social Development (DSD) of South Africa is a government department responsible for providing social development, protection, and welfare services to the public. Previously called the Department of Welfare, it was renamed in July 2000.

The first Department was established in 1937, to regulate and subsidise existing private, non-governmental welfare services, while providing some additional services. The 1997 White Paper for Social Welfare noted that post-Apartheid South Africa had inherited social welfare programmes which were “not considered to be critical social investment priorities and were under-resourced”.

The Department “endeavours to create a better life for the poor, vulnerable and excluded people in society”. It is tasked with reducing poverty, promoting social integration, and creating conditions for sustainable livelihoods. The Department also conducts research that develops the social indicators necessary for programme implementation and public accountability

SASSA Introduction
Social Assistance is an income transfer in the form of grants provided by government. A social grant refers to grants paid by the South African Social Security Agency that is: disability grant; grant for older persons and war veteran’s grant; foster child grant; care dependency grant; child support grant and grant-in-aid.
As from 01 April 2006, the responsibility for the management, administration and payment of social assistance grants was
transferred to the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA). SASSA is a section 3A public entity, the focused institution responsible to ensure that government pays the right grant, to the right person, at a location which is most
convenient to that person. Types of grants Social Assistance is provided in the form of:

Types of grants
Social assistance is provided in the form of:

a child support grant;
older person’s grant (a pension);
disability grant;
war veteran’s grant;
care dependency grant, for caring for a child with severe disability;
foster child grant;
grant-in-aid, for those who need a full-time caregiver; and/or
social relief of distress, a temporary measure for people in dire need, in the form of parcels or vouchers.

Previously, all nine (9) provincial governments were responsible for the administration of social grants, but this created serious social delivery challenges especially the delay in the approval and payments of grants, possible fraud and corruption in the system, inhumane pay points facilities and huge administration costs in delivering social grants.

In 2015, of the R155.3 billion given in social welfare, R53.5 billion went to pensioners; R47,8 billion to child support grants; R20.2 billion to disability grants; and R8.5 billion for other grants; with the remainder going toward management and administration.


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