19 December 2012

South Africa: SASSA Wants Single Mother to Pay Back R25k

The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) wants 38 year old Janice (not her real name) from Kewtown to pay back R25,760 in grants she received.

Until March this year, Janice received a monthly child welfare grant for her two boys aged 14 and 13.

While receiving her grant she had temporary work. She found a permanent job in March at Clicks. The same month she received a letter from SASSA ordering her to pay back money she received from 2006 to 2011, totalling R25,760, because she did not inform the agency she was employed. The letter is below:

Janice is a single parent who has to pay rent. She also needs to save money for her child's high school fees from January, totalling R800 a month.

Janice understands that other people need a child grant more than her but the income she receives at her current work is not much. She says she doesn't understand why she should pay back such a large amount when she doesn't even earn that in a year. Janice says she used the money she received from SASSA to pay for school fees and stationery. However Janice decided not to appeal SASSA's decision.

GroundUp asked SASSA for comment but received no response.

GroundUp's advice: If you apply for or receive a social grant, always inform SASSA of any income you receive to avoid finding yourself in Janice's difficult position.

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