South African Social Services Agency R800 Million to Corruption

Western Cape Spokesperson on Community Development, DA Constituency Head Cederberg and Bergrivier has discovered a whooping grant fraud of R800 MILLION which has been lost to corruption.

The huge amount of money was discovered to have been lost through corrupt activities of the South African Social Services Agency (SASSA). Out of the R800 million, R1.5 million have been recovered which does not give hope to clients of SASSA. It is really disturbing for beneficiaries to hear such news following their inability to access their benefits of rendering social service.

SASSA, on May 31st, briefed the Standing Committee on Community Development inthe Western Cape Provincial Parliament (WCPP) on the incidence and also mentioned that, between April 2015 and March 2016, a total of 18,807 disputes had been logged with SASSA.

At this point, it holds no doubt that the Dispute Resolution Mechanisms (DRM) put in place in 2012 to deal with the fraudulent deductions made on beneficiary accounts, has failed.

Additionally, its been discovered that beneficiaries received falsified SASSA forms that were used by insurance brokers to fraudulently take out insurance on behalf of beneficiaries. It also emerged from the briefing that 3rd parties are obtaining confidential details of beneficiaries from FICA and not necessarily from SASSA.

Cash Payment Services (CPS), responsible for disbursing social grants is a subsidiary of Net1, a company that also owns Easy Pay. It is concerning to note that beneficiaries are tricked into opening Easy Pay accounts thus ensuring that CPS pays the monies directly into these accounts that are subsequently fraudulently debited.

It also emerged that CPS will continue to profit from these questionable deductions as they are contracted to SASSA until March 2017. SASSA will not renew CPS’s contract as a result of this, but will take over operations themselves from April 1 2017.

There are currently new measures that will be put in place to fight rampant fraudulent deductions, SASSA mentioned. These include: 24 hour, 7 days a week, toll free number, including calls from cell phones – 0800 60 10 11; No funeral insurance deductions from children’s & temporary grants allowed; Beneficiaries to submit written consent for deductions; On site commissioner of Oaths to process affidavits; Retraining of SASSA staff on implementation of DRM.

Source: Media for DA Western Cape Provincial Parliament, South Africa.

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