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In South Africa, you can apply for a disability grant if you have a physical or mental disability that makes you unfit to work for a period of longer than six months. BizNews received the following correspondence from a community member who has been the recipient of a permanent disability grant since a serious accident 10 years ago. Between the bureaucratic red tape and possibility of dwindling pension funds, Mr Jones paints a grim picture. – Nadya Swart
Government Disability Pension
Hi there. I hope you follow up on this one. Following a serious injury 10 years ago and being unable to walk for three years, the Compensation Commissioner awarded me a disability pension, which is normally paid on the 25th of the month. It didn’t happen this last month and on 26 October, they wrote to ask me to get my ID verified, along with my bank account and proof of residence, because AVS had rejected my October payment. I travelled from Mtunzini to Richards Bay, which is 46km away, because they also required the bank stamp on the verification.
Having mailed the documents to the various government departments, I received an email showing that one employee had circulated my personal bank account details to quite a number of departments and individuals, which is illegal under the POPI Act. His mail was now asking for my bank account details, not only verified, but stamped by the bank as well. Off to Richards Bay again, last Saturday, returning and mailing again. These two return journeys and toll gates cost around R438 and, as a 76-year-old, it’s money spent on no value for myself and my wife.
This week, I have tried to contact these same people and to no avail. I contacted Complaints at the Commission, only to be mailed back, saying my information is awaiting verification.
It’s looking more and more like they have no money left to pay any pensions.
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