August 12, 2020
The We CARE Programme was designed with a formal verification review by the Auditor General’s Department (AGD) prior to payments being made to beneficiaries. Given that the programme involves several billions of dollars of economic and social support, and given the speed of the programme design and roll out, in the interest of transparency and good governance the extra step of having the AGD review application and reference data for each occupational group prior to the transfer of each batch of payments was included.
While applicants across several occupational categories have already received payment – approximately 440,000 persons have already received We CARE grants – transport operators, municipality registered occupations and early childhood practitioners are among the remaining beneficiaries.
For applicants in these occupational groups to be eligible, they must have had a valid registration with the relevant government authority as at April 30, 2020. Data supplied by the relevant government authority is used to verify that an applicant has a valid registration. However, before such data can be accepted, the AGD reviews the data to ensure that there are no issues or inconsistencies.
Invariably this is an iterative process, with queries raised by the AGD that have to be responded to by the relevant government authority, which may lead to adjustments. The process of review has been time consuming but has to be successfully completed prior to conducting the eligibility step that leads to pay-outs to qualified applicants.
The We CARE Team is working closely with the relevant government authorities and the AGD to have all outstanding queries addressed this week. Furthermore, the We CARE Team is projecting that payments for these outstanding occupational groups can be made during the week of August 17, 2020 (i.e. next week).
We understand and empathise with the frustration faced by applicants from these occupational groups who have experienced delays. These delays are only due to our efforts to ensure transparency and good governance in building in the step of an AGD review and validation prior to payment. This procedure has worked for 440,000 CARE grants thus far, and by next week we expect that number to increase further once payments for the aforementioned occupational groups are made.