The issue raised in this application can best be understood against the background of the relevant statutory matrix.
 Section 18 of the Social Assistance Act sets out the procedure to be followed when a decision by the South African Social Security Agency is being reconsidered.
 Of more relevance to this application is section 18(2)(a) of the Act which gives the Minister of Social Development, upon receipt of an appeal contemplated in section 18 (1A) of the Act, the power to “confirm, vary or set aside” the decision of the Agency on an application lodged by the applicant for social assistance in terms of section 14.
 After the applicant’s application for a disability grant had been refused by the Agency, primarily on the ground that it had been “lodged outside the prescribed 90 day period”, the applicant lodged an appeal in the prescribed manner, predicated on the following:
“The administrator relied on an evidence or information of an expert nature for its conclusion and no opportunity was given to appellant to make representations in response. The appellant is an unskilled person and can only be accepted in the labour market requiring unskilled labourers. Unskilled labourers require a perfect health with all senses functioning. It was unreasonable not [to] grant even a temporary disability grant”.
 In the course of time the applicant was invited, by the Acting Chief Director: Legal Services, to furnish the Department of Social Development with certain outstanding documents. The applicant was further advised as follows:
“Regulation 19 (1)(7) provides that 90 days period referred to in regulation 16 (2) will only start running from the date of receipt by the Independent Tribunal of all required documents under sub-regulation 3. Please be advised that should you respond [to] this letter after a period of 90 days from the date on which the reconsideration outcome was issued, kindly fill in the attached condonation form.”
Mpayipheli v Minister of Social Development and Another (3956/16)  ZAECMHC 150.29 MB