Department of Public Service and Administration Director General, Ms Yoliswa Makhasi

The Director-General of the Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA), Ms Yoliswa Makhasi, has urged public servants to refrain from temptations to benefit from the R350 special COVID-19 Social Relief of Distress (SRD) Grant announced by the Minister of Social Development.

DG Makhasi said the DPSA is concerned about the public servants who see nothing wrong in applying for the grant while they have a source of income because the SRD is intended to provide relief to the poor and financially distressed citizens in the country.

Social Development Minister, Lindiwe Zulu, reported that approximately 40 000 public servants applied for the R350 relief grant in May last year and 241 of the public servants received the grant.

DG Makhasi said this amounts to fraud and the DPSA is ready and available to support the Department of Social Development and the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) in strengthening controls to prevent public servants from accessing the SRD grant.

She said DPSA will also give support to ensure that money is recovered from public servants who wrongfully benefited and that their cases are referred to the law enforcement agencies to take action on such officials.

“I want to reiterate that any official who receives any form of income from the public service, does not qualify for this grant and may not apply for it as it is tantamount to stealing from the poor,” she said.

People who do not qualify to receive the grant include public servants on the Persal system, those on internship, Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP), learnership or any developmental program and receives a form of stipend from the government.