Sassa Advised To Improve Checks To Stop Fraudulent Grant Payments

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It was recently revealed that more than 3 000 government employees undeservedly benefited from grants provided by the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa).

 


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This fraud was not only limited to the permanent grants offered by Sassa. The Social Relief of Distress R350 grant was introduced to assist unemployed individuals during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

However, a reported 156 public servants allegedly fraudulently applied for the R350 grant from Sassa on 11 March 2022. This was revealed In a joint sitting of the Auditor-General of South Africa (AGSA), the Department of Social Development and its entities, Sassa and the National Development Agency (NDA).

AGSA Senior Manager Mr Faizel Jogee said that many important preventative measures had not been fully implemented which could have prevented ineligible individuals from being paid the R350 grant.

He explained that his office picked up instances where many ineligible individuals had been registered and been paid the R350 grant.

Jogee recommended that internal processes and controls must be implemented by Sassa to identify and filter out the ineligible applicants. This is because when money had been paid, it became very difficult to recover.

The material loss, as of August 2021 came at a cost of R230 million. The loss incurred during the period of August 2021 to March 2022 still needed to be determined.

AGSA believes that SASSA should get as many databases from the government and collaborate with banks to utilise their systems in order to pick up any irregular cash flow into the bank accounts of those ineligible individuals.

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