Refugees face social grant barrier

SASSAWynberg-TariroWashinyira-20160519 1 of 1_large

Refugees receiving social grants for their children say they are being turned away from the Wynberg offices of the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA), in spite of a directive from the department of Home Affairs.

Earlier this month, eight refugees complained to People Against Suffering, Oppression and Poverty (PASSOP) that they had been turned away at Wynberg SASSA offices because they had failed to produce birth certificates for their children which correspond with the Home Affairs ID numbers.

In an official letter to one of the families, SASSA stated: “According to our records, you are currently receiving a social grant. It has come to SASSA’s attention that the identity number of your child/children is not a valid number on the Home Affairs Population Register.”

“You are requested to call at your nearest SASSA office no later 31 May 2016 to have your social grant reviewed. Should you fail to have your social grant reviewed it will be suspended.”

But Home Affairs Media Liaison Officer Thabo Mokgola told GroundUp: “SASSA must accept all valid identity documents for refugees (including children) and issue grants on that basis. We have engaged with SASSA National Head Office in this regard.”