The Black Sash commissioned seasoned broadcast journalists Crystal Orderson & Johann Abrahams to produce current affairs documentaries concerning the difficulties facing social grant beneficiaries within the context of the national grant payment system.
The first in the series, entitled Grant Grabs, was an investigative documentary which was screened in March 2015 on Special Assignment on SABC 3. The cases featured in the documentary was sourced from community partners such as the Paarl, Qedusizi and Lebaleng Advice Offices. We had requests from several parliamentarians and other journalists for copies. Over 300 copies of Grant Grabs were distributed, including to all paralegals attending the Dullah Omar School in 2015.
This was followed by a second documentary in 2017, titled Grant Grabs 2: Challenges with seeking Recourse, which highlighted how challenging it is for social grant holders to dispute and be refunded for unauthorised, fraudulent, and unlawful deductions from their SASSA bank accounts held by Grindrod Bank. This was broadcast on SABC 2's current affairs show, Cutting Edge, which meant it was broadcast to about 1 113 691 viewers.
In 2018, Crystal and Johann produced a third documentary, entitled Grant Grabs 3: The Green Card, which focused on the disturbing financial practices of the EasyPay Everywhere card (also known as the Green Card). The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) has warned grant holders against signing up for this account and recommended that beneficiaries should rather remain with their SASSA branded bank accounts. Media reports indicate that the number of social grant beneficiaries who sign up for the EasyPay Everywhere account has escalated to over 2 million account holders.
The fourth documentary in the Grant Grabs series, entitled Stealing Grant Beneficiaries Personal Data and produced by Crystal, focusses on how social grant beneficiaries personal and biometric information was shared with financial service providers, resulting in unlawful deductions from their bank accounts into which their social grants are paid.