What is Sassa | Sassa Functions and Types | Sassa Origin

Sassa stands for South African Social Security Agency. SASSA is a government institution that was created in 2005 according to the Act No 11 of 2005. This Act is officially announced as an English text signed by the President (Assented to 30 May 2004.). South African social assistance has been administered by SASSA since its creation. Sassa agency acts as a single point of contact for all forms of social assistance, including grants and benefits from various pension fund schemes.


South Africa is a country with a rich culture and history. One of its most prolific sections, however, is the social security sector. Through social security schemes and programs, South Africa has developed into a well-known destination for tourists and foreign investors. These services are based on national legislation like the Social Security Act of 2004 which governs all payment methods related to grants from applying to payment methods by implementing properly into the system by making sure that the beneficiaries get their benefits in a quick and efficient manner.

Sassa Functions and Types

Employment in South Africa is highly unpredictable and is based on economic growth. In fact, the unemployment rate is one of the worst in the world: about 25% of the population. For example, for every 100 working people 25 are unemployed (Kaseke, 2010:161).  It means that if you’re going to start a new job in South Africa know that it will be very difficult to find a new job anytime soon.

ORIGIN OF SASSA (When is Sassa?)

The Department of Social Development (DSD), officially known as the Department of Social Welfare (DSW), is the national department that implements social assistance functions in South Africa. It is the second largest department after the Department of Health employed almost 90,000 people nationwide. DSD employs social workers, who are employed by specific municipalities and municipalities that overlap with other municipalities’ needs. As a result, some social workers working at different levels have overlapping responsibilities (e.g., if a municipality has also been assigned to administer provincial government grants).

The Chief Operating Officer of the organization and also one of the board members, James Dzidza, in a recent interview stated that the bulk of employees hired by the organization is recruited from any other service institutions in which they were serving prior to their coming to Sassa. They will get employed on the basis of their performance in those institutions. He further claims that these employees had served at a higher level of management and were therefore more experienced than other staff who were recruited for this purpose.

As mentioned above, the South African government ran a kind of audit on the current social security systems prior to the establishment of Sassa. Fundamentally, this was done in order to make sure that it was as effective and efficient as possible. Also, this helped to align existing laws so that there would be no further delays regarding government registration.

The Traits Of A Sassa

The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) was established in October 2007 by the Minister of Labor and Social Security, a member of the cabinet, as an independent statutory office with a remit to manage the social security Fund which contained R5 billion. The purpose of establishing SASSA was “to establish a comprehensive social system” among other things. If you are interested in learning more about SASSA, I suggest reading Reddy & Sokomany (2008) who provide an in-depth analysis of everything from the establishment to its current state.

  • Social assistance management, administration, and payment
  • The social security system and rendering payments
  • The administration of social assistance
  • Ensure that payment information is maintained and administered
  • Maintaining a national database (for payments and funds transfers)
  • Implemented social security system (prevents fraud and illegal activity).
  • The CEO is in charge of the company
  • CEO reports directly to Minister about all activities (Olivier, Medi, and Jordaan, 2009:63)
  • Human dignity must be maintained
  • Ensure social security
  • Service delivery that is fair, honest, and impartial
  • Assist applicants with their applications
  • In the event that anyone does not follow the agency agreement, there will be financial penalties

Functions of Sassa

Sassa Organisational distributes its products into four tiers, namely:

  • head office
  • regional office
  • district office
  • local office

A head office and nine regional offices make up Sassa. Regional offices make all decisions on behalf of the head office.

Head Office

The post of Chief Executive Officer was created to fill the need for a national-level position that could manage the activities of societies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). The most important role of the CEO is to check, amend and add on as necessary all the important laws. He/she also has to be able to oversee the various activities in all departments as well as coordinate with other aspects of government for efficiency. A CEO will mainly be at work during weekdays and weekends.

Other regional offices:

The South African government is divided into nine regions. Each region has a regional office that deals with regional issues, such as planning and development. The local offices are headed by district managers and work on resolving local issues. But unlike the districts, local offices do not have their own managers. The region includes the following districts: Northern Cape, Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Limpopo, Free State, Gauteng (which is divided into 4 administrations), North West (which is divided into 3 administrations), KwaZulu Natal (which is divided into 3 administrations), Mpumalanga.


It is not just the administration of the program that makes the Safer Spaces Program successful. It also requires political participation and leadership, citizen participation and engagement, effective visual policing, crime reduction strategies, and crime prevention strategies to run smoothly. The following discussion will address this.

  • Section 27 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa of 1996 and the Bill of Rights
  • In accordance with the South African Social Security Agency Act No. 9 of 2004, social grants are administered, managed, and paid in accordance with the provisions of the Act.
  • Social Assistance Act No. 13 of 2004 (prescribes the manner in which Sassa functions should be performed)
  • A law regulating financial management, such as managing expenditures, revenues, assets, and liabilities, was passed in 1999.
  • In 2000, the Promotion of Administrative Justice Act No. 3 was passed (rights of administrative personnel).
  • Promotion of Access to Information Act No. 2 of 2000 (right to information)

The grant administration process (from application to approval by Sassa)

As a grant application proceeds from the point of application or contact to the final decision on whether to approve or disapprove, it goes through the following stages. Here are the steps involved:

During the screening, Sassa checks all the required documentation. Documents such as IDs, medical assessments, receipts, etc.

During the attestation process, Sassa checks the documents, interviews the customer, and captures data on SOCPEN to prevent misconceptions and fraud.

Control of quality – The Sassa ensures that the application form and documentation comply with the legislative requirements for further processing of the application.

Information passes through the verification process and is then used to make the final decision on whether to approve or reject the application on SOCPEN.


Grants are offered by SASSA in a variety of forms. Sassa’s grant status can also be checked after applying. Among the grants that Sassa offers are:

  • Grants for child support (CSG)
  • Grants for Foster Care (FGC)
  • CDG (Care Dependency Grant)
  • Grants for the elderly (OAG)
  • Grants for disabled persons (DG)
  • A grant for veterans of war (WVG)
  • Grants-in-Aid (GIAs)

Final Words

SASSA is a government agency. It was established by legislation in order to provide better service to citizens. It was also constituted in order to simplify and administer benefits transfer, registration, and collection of payments. The main focus of SASSA is to design, administer and manage the grant in such a way that beneficiaries do not get into trouble regarding their grant processing system.

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