Local councillor Eldrige Ruiters is calling for awareness for undocumented (those who have never been issued a birth certificate) people over the age of 60, without access to their old age grants of R1600, to come forward.
Not many potential beneficiaries are aware of a section of the SASSA regulations which allows those who have applied for identity documents from the Department of Home Affairs to receive their pensions whilst still waiting for the documents. This regulation makes provision that people should not be denied access to social services, while issues with Home Affairs are being resolved. “We know many in our communities, specifically farm workers and older people without formal education are suffering because of this” said Cllr Ruiters.
To be eligible, the person must have proof that they have applied to Home Affairs for an ID document. This should be taken to the SASSA office, and SASSA will then generate a temporary ID number which will be valid for three months. The applicant then has access to the old age grant for those three months. It is hoped that by then their formal documentation from Home Affairs will have been received, and they can apply for the old age grant in the normal way.
Everyone, especially those in the farming communities, is asked to pass this information on to their employees, and anyone else they know who is struggling to access their old age grant because of lack of documentation. For clarity and guidance, SASSA champion Jonathan Tarentaal can be contacted on 044 923 8502 in Graaff-Reinet District or Cllr Ruiters on 072 546 3409