During the period beginning on April 1, 2022 and ending on September 30, 2022, the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) received 981,562 grant applications, with 887,628 of those applications being granted. During this time period, around nine percent of the total number of grant applications were denied.
Following the passage and subsequent implementation of the Social Assistance Amendment Act, there was a discernible rise in the number of appeals that were filed with the Independent Tribunal for Social Assistance Appeals (ITSAA), which now receives an average of 750 appeals every single month.
The acting Director-General of the Department of Social Development, Linton Mchunu, stated that the grant application pool was racially diverse and that only one application was received from a person with a disability.
However, he did note that there was only one application received. None of the provinces of Northern Cape, North West, or Mpumalanga submitted an application for this position.
Applicants for grants who have had their requests denied and who want to appeal the decision must do so within a period of time ranging from 30 to 90 days after getting informed of the denial.
After receiving the appeal, the Independent Tribunal has a deadline of ninety days to issue a definitive ruling on the matter. There is no further internal appeal that can be made because the decision of the Independent Tribunal is deemed to be the final decision and there are no other options available.
However, applicants who are unhappy with the decision made by the Tribunal have the option of petitioning the High Court for a judicial review within the allotted time frame of 180 days.
According to Antoinette Brink, an Appeals Officer at the Department of Social Development, the Tribunal is made up of professionals from a variety of areas, including a medical practitioner and a legal practitioner.
The legal practitioner decides whether the decision of Sassa should be confirmed, varied, or set aside and records the reasons for the decision. The medical practitioner evaluates the appeal and makes recommendations on medical aspects of the appeal.