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Social Security in Johannesburg

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Since April 2006, the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) has been the official body for handling  the management, administration of social grants and social insurance in South Africa. Social Assistance is an income transfer in the form of grants or financial award provided by government. A social grant refers to adult grants, that is, disability grants, a grant for the aged and a war veteran's grant. SASSA is a section 3A public entity and focused institution responsible to ensure that government pays the right grant, to the right person, at a location which is most convenient to that person. 

The means-tested, non-contributory (social) pension in South Africa was first introduced in 1928 but it was only in 1993 that the same amount was paid to all racial groups. Women over 60 and men over 65 may be eligible for a monthly pension of R780 (US$109). Means testing is based on an individual's (and partner's if married) income levels. The scheme is administered by the Department of Social Development and financed by general taxation. The old-age pension makes up 1.4% of gross domestic product (GDP) and 38% of the Department's total cash transfer expenditure. About 2 million people receive the old-age pension. This is 94% of those over 65, so despite being means tested, it has near universal coverage for those over 65.

Pension Funds Adjudicator
Handles complaints regarding private sector pension funds, including provident funds and retirement annuities.
Tel: (021) 674 0209
Fax: (021) 674 0185
Web site
Guide to lodging a complaint

Government Employees Pension Fund
Handles complaints regarding government employee pension funds.
Tel: (012) 319 1911/1000
Fax: (012) 326 2507
Web site
Guide to lodging a complaint

Social grants
Handles problems with social grants, including old age pensions, through  the Department of Social Development.  Contact the head office or the nearest provincial office.
Tel: (012) 312 7500/7775
Toll-free: 0800 601 011
Fax: (012) 312 7943
Web site
Online questions and comments form

Telephone numbers of provincial locations:

  • Eastern Cape: Tel (040) 636 4304 or 609 3931/61
  • Free State: Tel (051) 405 4821/5000
  • Gauteng: Tel (011) 355 7878/7600/7873
  • KwaZulu-Natal: Tel (035) 874 3703 or 874 3700/5/6/7
  • Limpopo (Northern Province): Tel (015) 290 9075/9000
  • Mpumalanga: Tel: (013) 752 4106 or 766 3098
  • Northern Cape: Tel: (053) 830 0786 or 832 7839/4/5
  • North West: Tel: (018) 387 5755/4295
  • Western Cape: Tel (021) 461 4143 or 483 3158/3858/5445

Public Protector
Handles unsolved issues with social grants.
Postal address: Private Bag X677, Pretoria 0001
Street address: Sinodale Centre, 228 Visagie Street, Pretoria
Tel: (012) 322 2916
Toll-free: 0800 112 040
Fax: (012) 322 5093
Web page

Useful Links

Update 27/11/2008


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