Covid-19 update: SASSA drama continues, minister defends BEE policy

Covid-19 update: SASSA drama continues, minister defends BEE policy

The drama concerning the delayed SASSA payment continued on Tuesday, with Covid-19 cases continuing to rise. explores more of the top stories on the situation.

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The chaos surrounding the already delayed SASSA grant payments continued on Tuesday, with recipients learning that they would be expected to repay the double deposit. looks at the top updates on the situation as the nation continues to battle against the coronavirus.

1. SASSA beneficiaries who received double payments must repay funds

SASSA has announced that grant recipients who were paid double the usual amount on Monday will be expected to repay the funds. reported that SASSA had experienced a technical issue when paying out the elderly and disability grants, resulting in 435 000 Western Cape recipients receiving double payments while 450 000 recipients in KwaZulu-Natal received nothing.

News24 spoke to Minister Lindiwe Zulu, who confirmed grant recipients would be expected to return the funds.

"I was informed by Sassa CEO [Busisiwe Memela-Khambula] during a meeting on Sunday that there was a technical problem that was going to affect the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal. I still need to get a proper report in writing that says exactly where and how the glitch happened. I won't be able to say who was responsible until I get a full briefing on the matter."

2. Covid-19: Analysts tell Ramaphosa lockdown far more deadly than virus

Pandemic Data Analysis, known as PANDA, has released its research into the current coronavirus lockdown in South Africa.

The team, consisting of data analysts and actuaries, claims that a prolonged lockdown may well result in more deaths than Covid-19 itself.

Making use of a metric known as Years of Lives Lost, Nick Hudson and Peter Castleden led the project which has now suggested that bringing the economy to a halt could be the death blow, not the virus. In a letter sent to President Cyril Ramaphosa, the team put forward the following perspective.

“We present our data and analysis to you with an urgent appeal: to revise the current approach to lockdown. Using commercially tested actuarial principles, we have been able to estimate the impact of the lockdown’s economic contraction on South Africans’ mortality, or the ‘life-years lost’.”

3. Covid-19: Minister defends denying non-BEE companies relief funds

Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane has defended the Tourism Department's Covid-19 relief fund.

This after the court challenge to lift the BEE requirements failed and was dismissed.

Kubayi-Ngubane is adamant non-compliant companies had only themselves to blame for being excluded.

“The policy says that if you are a small business, in terms of the categories that we have put, you qualify to be exempted. The question we must ask [is] why our fellow white compatriots, South Africans, felt that they could ignore the laws of this country.”

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