Answer to a question from a reader

Do I qualify for a SASSA loan?

The short answer

SASSA does not give loans.

The whole question

Dear Athalie

Can I receive a R4,000 loan from a money lender and repay them R250 per month using my SASSA card?

The long answer

This information is copied directly from SASSA's official Twitter account: "SASSA does NOT offer loans or any financial products (e.g airtime, electricity etc) . Beneficiaries are urged not to take any loans as it might result in unnecessary deductions on their social grants".

A recent Groundup article by the Black Sash explains that, under the National Credit Act (NCR), loans up to R8,000 for 6 months are called “short term credit”. The NCR allows money lenders to charge 5% interest per month, as well as a one-time initiation fee of R150 and monthly service fees of R50. If you add these fees together, it means that on a loan of R1,000, you will pay back R1,750. That is a shockingly high amount to pay for a loan of R1,000. 

What it means is that your social grant will be used up paying the money lenders their monthly service fees and interest and you will likely fall deeper and deeper into debt.

I know that people have become more and more desperate in the last two years, as they have lost jobs through the Covid pandemic, while the money lenders have grown fat on the social grants of poor people. Poor people can only lose by using their SASSA cards to secure loans at such a high cost. Are you really prepared to pay back R1,750 for borrowing R1,000 over six months?

Perhaps you could ask the Black Sash for advice. Here are their contact details:


Helpline: 072 663 3739.

Wishing you the best,

Answered on Nov. 26, 2021, 1:36 p.m.

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