Social Security delivery: briefing

Social Development

09 November 1999
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Meeting report

WELFARE AND POPULATION DEVELOPMENT PORTFOLIO
COMMITTEE
10 November 1999
SOCIAL SECURITY DELIVERY: BRIEFING


Officials present from Department:
Mr F Makiwane, Mr Fisher, Ms Allie, Ms B Knighton, Mr Schoeman, Ms
Dunkerley, Mr Mjamba, Dr T Masilele, Ms Nomalanga, Ms Golden.

Chair : Mr E Saloojee.

Documents handed out:
Social Security Delivery
Re-Registration Project
Re-Registration Programme, Kwazulu/Natal
Disability Benefits
Child Support Grant
Information On Social Grants
Findings of Forensic Audits & Database Interrogation, Eastern Cape


SUMMARY
The Department gave an overview of social security delivery and the main
areas of concern. The rationale, objectives and progress of the re-registration project nation-wide. There was a review of the almost completed process in KZN as well as the status of the current pilot projects in E Cape and their problems. There was insufficient time for the Department to cover Child Care Grants and Disability Grants.

MINUTES
Mr Makiwane gave an overview of social security delivery and the main
areas of concern. The rationale, objectives and progress of the re-registration project nation-wide were presented. Ms Dunkerley made a presentation on the re-registration process in KZN.

A wide range of questions was then taken. Points were:
Long queues, confusion and anxiety of social security recipients.
Poor communication by the Department about discontinued paypoints.
Variations between provinces in capacity and budget.
The committee needs updated copies of the national means test.
The old age grant currently covers a high figure of 72% of the elderly.
There will be a briefing at the end of November on the new payment service.
There is a need for information on the project's progress in all provinces.
The all-importance of co-operation with Home Affairs.
The need for a careful balance between mobile and fixed centres.

Mr Mjamba presented some of the results of the forensic audit of the
Eastern Cape provincial database. He then sketched the current status of the
re-registration project in the E Cape . They are still piloting the project
in selected areas to gain experience. They are excluding the 330,000
disability grants from this process at present. They do not have the funds
to outsource the project, which he said cost KwaZulu/Natal R45 million. They are training matriculants to help temporarily. They have consulted NGOs such as SANGOCO and Black Sash. Beneficiaries will not be removed from the list without
notice. Discredited staff are continually being dismissed.

There was a strong general feeling amongst committee members that the ineffectiveness of the Eastern Cape was a great embarrassment to the ANC and the country as a whole. There was concern that people travel from E Cape to W Cape just to process their grant claims quickly and smoothly. E Cape's welfare budget is R310
million, of which R307 million goes on social grants.

General concerns expressed were:
- The 3 million child support grants have not been taken up on a wide scale - is it because the application procedure is too cumbersome for potential recipients or is it due to poor communication about the grants?
- the possibility of increasing the age limit of the child support grant to 9 or 10, or increasing the value of the grant - The dangers of outsourcing with unsatisfactory contractors.
- The social relief budget for interim payments is unused in many provinces.
- The changes in payment systems.

The chairman stated his and the committee's desire to help with problems
and participate in solutions. He proposed follow-up visits of committee
members around the country, and on-going discussions with the national
department on other issues that had not been looked at.

Appendix 1:
Social Security Delivery

Activities - How many grants are paid per month?

Old Age: 1 845 889
War Veterans: 8 306
Disability: 635 881
Grant-in-aid: 8 893
Maintenance
Parent: 154 046
Child: 207 222
Foster Care: 51 074
Child dependency: 21 498
Child support: 163 950
Total: 3 096 759

Activities - How much is paid per grant type?
Old Age - Maximum amount: R520.00
War Veterans - Maximum amount: R538.00
Disability - Maximum amount: R520.00
Grant-in-aid - Maximum amount: R94.00
Maintenance (Parent) - Maximum amount: R215.00
Maintenance (Child) - Maximum amount: R67.00
Foster Care - Maximum amount: R374.00
Child dependency - Maximum amount: R520.00
Child support - Maximum amount: R100.00

 

Activities - How are Grants paid?
Percentage Beneficiaries Paid By Different Contractors

  • POST OFFICE: 10,6%
  • BANKS: 8,5%
  • INSTITUTIONS: 0,1%
  • PRIVATE CONTRACTORS: 59,6%
  • PROVINCES: 21,2%

Social security budget
1998/99

  • Social security - R16 800 196 000
  • Social security as % of total welfare budget - 91,1%
  • Welfare services % of total welfare budget - 8,9%
  • Amount voted for Welfare - R 18 434 843 000

Social Security

[Graph not included]

 

Summary- Focus Areas

  • Infrastructure
  • Human Resources (Capacity and Capability)
  • CSG uptake
  • Re-registration process & Reviews
  • Disability policy
  • Comprehensive Social Security System

Appendix 2:

Re-Registration Project

Objective of the Re-registration Project

  • The purification of the SOCPEN database to improve the accuracy, completeness, validity and currency of data which will bring result in effectiveness and efficiency.
  • Review – Process of auditing files to ensure that those who are on the system are supposed to be there.

Actions undertaken for Re-Registration

  • Put together a provincial and national project team. Done
  • Visit the six provinces that are currently busy with re-registration to understand how plans were made & how it is implemented. Done
  • Hold a work session to construct a plan for the re-registration. Done
  • Structure report-back to clearly indicate the status Done
  • Roll out the plan for implementation. Done
  • Initiate tender for external Quality Assurance Done

 

Plans for the Re-registration Project

  • Initiate tender for Communication: 99/11/30
  • Pay out the full amount to the provinces: 99/11/25
  • Visit the provinces to assess work done and assist with project implementation: 99/11/22

Measurement of progress

Per province per social security district the following info are required from the provinces to track progress:

  • Interviews
  • Captured
  • Verification
  • Approval
  • Cancellations (Age, Means, Medical, Other, Deceased)
  • Transfers

Provinces are supplying the above monthly to the Department of Welfare

Quality Assurance

External tender for QA was initiated and will audit among others the following:

  • The results of the re-reg process.
  • The management of the process of re-reg.
  • The performance of the provinces.
  • Process of cancellation of grants.

Identify and calculate possible savings that may result from the re-reg project itself or from proposals made by the audit team

Appendix 3:

Re-Registration Programme, Kwazulu/Natal

AIM

  • To review all current beneficiaries in terms of legislation: 584 859
  • To ensure that each beneficiary has a complete file
  • To update information on SOCPEN
  • To ensure that all beneficiaries being paid receive grants to which they are entitled

Scope of project
Main focus areas

  • Communication
  • Administration
  • Capturing
  • New applications

 

Communication
The challenge:
to communicate with 600 000 beneficiaries

  • Spread over a large geographical area
  • Rural and urban
  • Literate and illiterate
  • Different cultures and languages
  • Face to face
  • Pamphlets
  • Posters
  • Queuing cards
  • Press releases
  • Radio talk shows
  • Liaison officers
  • Toll-free help line

 

Administration
Challenges

  • Requirements for all grant types
  • Medical assessments
  • Services outsourced:
  • Untrained staff
  • Training
  • Quality control
  • Productivity

Logistics

  • Schedules of venues and dates
  • Time frames - set norms
  • Mobile teams -self sufficient
  • Fingerprint equipment
  • Photographs

Process

  • Beneficiary arrives at re-registration point
  • Queue walker to confirm documentation
  • Beneficiary directed to administration clerk
  • Copies made of supporting documents
  • Beneficiary moves to fingerprint clerk
  • Fingerprints taken and photograph attached
  • Beneficiary moves to verifying officer
  • Application form signed by clerk and applicant
  • Beneficiary given a receipt as confirmation of re-registration
  • Beneficiary leaves re-registration point
  • File cover details confirmed
  • File batched for dispatch to data processing
  • Process for disability and care dependency grants
  • As with all grants, but where the receipt is given, beneficiary given referral letter for district surgeon for medical assessment

 

Data processing
Challenge:

Operate in live environment

Contract staff

  • Training
  • Quality control
  • Productivity
  • Medical assessments

Logistics

  • Set up autonomous venue
  • Computers linked to SOCPEN
  • Registry
  • Separation of duties
  • Receipt of files
  • Data capturing
  • Verification
  • Approval

Process

  • File received from field
  • Fingerprint card removed for transmission to home affairs
  • File manually checked for completeness
  • Linking of identity numbers
  • Verification
  • Approval
  • Filing

 

New applications
challenges

  • Determine start date for project
  • Introduce "clean" application procedure for all new applicants after this date
  • Training
  • Quality control

 

PROJECT COMPLEXITIES
STAKEHOLDERS

  • District surgeons
  • Political representatives
  • Community organisations
  • Pension committees
  • Departmental staff
  • Provincial treasury
  • National department
  • Home affairs
  • Bed-ridden beneficiaries
  • Institutional visits
  • Monitoring productivity
  • Initial large numbers
  • Mopping up

 

ACHIEVEMENTS TO DATE

  • Initial target of 584 859 current beneficiaries
  • Files received for 568 542 beneficiaries as at 31 Oct 1999
  • Capturing completed for 324 023 files
  • Of files captured 13 327 have had payment suspended for the following reasons
  • Too young: 3169
  • Means: 850
  • Medical assessment: 5429
  • Other: 127
  • Deceased: 3752

LESSONS LEARNT

Timing of project

Control of stationery and equipment

Public query system

District surgeons

Balance - fixed and mobile sites

Training

Productivity management

Quality control

Files for correction

Communication

Queing

Data processing

Appendix 4:

Disability Benefits

  • Present Status
  • There are 635881 beneficiaries in receipt of disability benefits.
  • 55% are of a temporary nature. The duration of the grant varies from 6 and 12 months.
  • 45% of the grants are of a permanent nature.
  • The disability benefits constitute 20% of the total beneficiary population.

 

DEFINITION OF DISABILITY

A disabled person is" a person who has attained the prescribed age and is owing to his physical or mental disability unfit to obtain by virtue of any service, employment or profession, the means needed to enable him to provide for his maintenance".

PROBLEMS – REGULATIONS & POLICY

  • The present definition is broad and does not distinguish between temporary and permanent disability
  • There are no clear eligibility criteria for the assessment of disability.
  • The reliance is on the subjective diagnosis of the state medical doctor and approval of this assessment by the pensions medical officer. This process is an issue of an ethical debate presently.
  • The state medical doctor makes a diagnosis and determines whether it is of a permanent or temporary nature and recommends the nature of the grant.

 

APPLICATION PROCESS

  • Applicant is referred to District Surgeon.
  • The medical forms are completed and sent to the welfare office.
  • All outstanding documents are requested.
  • The applicant completes an application form and is given a medical form to be completed by the doctor.
  • Upon receipt the application is captured .

 

APPROVAL/REJECTION

  • Upon approval of the grant, the application is given an approved status and payment is effected.
  • If rejected the applicant must be informed accordingly.
  • Applicant retains the right to appeal in written format within 90 days.
  • The processing period for payments is 3 months.

 

PROBLEMS WITH PROCESS

  • The assessment procedure is time consuming, expensive and duplicatory.
  • There is no uniformity in assessment among the provinces.
  • The overworked state doctors cause concern about the validity of the diagnosis.
  • The threats to doctors and the fraud prevalent with inappropriate diagnosis is of concern, to the overburdening of the system.
  • The delays in approving applications by the pensions medical officer.

 

PROPOSED OUTCOMES

  • Reviewed Definition
  • Reviewed assessment criteria
  • Definition of scope of benefit
  • Evaluate assessment procedure

Appendix 5:

Child Support Grant

 

Background to the grant

Target

Statistics

Factors impeding reaching targets

Strategies developed

QUALIFYING CRITERIA

• can be eligible for own child/ren
• must be the primary care giver
• must satisfy the financial criteria
• does not receive remuneration for the child
• child is not in an institution
• is not already in receipt of a grant in respect of the child

• the child is under 7 years of age

THE MEANS TEST

Scheduled rural location, <R1 100pm

Informal house, <R1 100pm

Formal house, <R800 pm

RURAL AREA

Living in a formal or Informal Dwelling; personal income is below: R1100 per month or R13200 per annum

URBAN AREA

Living in a Formal Dwelling; person income below is R800 per month or R9600 per annum

Living in Informal Dwelling, person income below R1 100 per month or R13 200 per annum

TARGET SIZE

• aiming for 3 million by 2003

CHILD SUPPORT GRANT STATISTICS AS AT 29/10/1999

Western Cape:

Applications: 6 796

Payment: 6 350

Eastern Cape:

Applications: 36 166

Payment: 32 772

Northern Cape:

Applications: 8 197

Payment: 7 851

Free State:

Applications: 8 332

Payment: 5 399

Kwazulu Natal:

Applications: 40 111

Payment: 30 933

North West:

Applications: 13 988

Payment: 12 528

Gauteng:

Applications: 28 471

Payment: 26 172

Mpumalanga:

Applications: 15 938

Payment: 13 976

Northern Province:

Applications: 37 768

Payment: 27 969

TOTAL:

Applications: 195 767

Payment: 163 950

 

FACTORS IMPACTING ON UPTAKE

  • REGULATIONS
  • QUALIFYING CRITERIA
  • PROOF/DOCUMENTS
  • 13 DIGIT BAR CODED I.D’S
  • COMMUNICATION
  • INFRASTRUCTURAL PROBLEMS

 

RELAXATION OF REGULATIONS

  • 13 digit bar coded I.D
  • Personal Income replaced household income
  • Removed the following criteria:
  • immunisation
  • efforts for employment/development
  • proof maintenance

Proof / documentation in respect of the above is therefore no longer necessary to enable accessibility of grant to the targeted children

 

COMMUNICATION

  • TENDER TO APPOINT A MARKETING COMPANY TO MARKET THE GRANT THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRY
  • PAMPHLETS

IDENTITY DOCUMENTS

  • NATIONAL DEPARTMENT PURCHASED

123 MOBILE UNITS FROM DEPT OF HOME AFFAIRS TO FACILITATE TAKING DOWN APPLICATIONS

 

RESEARCH CSG

  • Build a national profile of CSG beneficiaries
  • assess the role of CSG in household
  • assess conditions under which CSG delivered
  • identify factors impeding access
  • assess accuracy & implementation of the means test
  • monitor & assess concept of primary care giver
  • extent of Communication strategy

 

RESEARCH SMG

  • Assess responses to & strategies to cope with reduction SMG
  • assess effects of phase out on child care patterns
  • extent of communication of phase out
  • training of staff enabled coping with administration of phase out
  • determine change in demand for foster care, care dependency grant
  • extent to which flagship program creates sustainable income streams

Appendix 5:
FACTSHEET 1

Information On Social Grants

1. SOCIAL GRANTS FOR THE AGED

In order to qualify for a social grant for the aged, the applicant:

Must be a South African citizen

Must be resident in the Republic at the time of application

If a male, must be 65 years of age

If a female, must be 60 years of age

As well as the spouse, must comply with the means test

Must not be maintained or cared for in a state institution, and

Must not be in receipt of another social grant, in respect of him or herself.

2. SOCIAL GRANTS FOR DISABLED PERSONS

In order to qualify for a social grant for disabled persons, the applicant:

Must be a South African citizen

Must be resident in the Republic at the time of application

Must be a disabled person, who has attained the age of 18 years and as a result of his or her disability is unable to obtain employment or does not have any other resources to support himself or herself.

The period of disability for all work must either be permanent or for a continuous period of 6 months or 1 year.

Must not refuse to undergo the necessary medical treatment, unless the treatment may be life threatening

As well as the spouse, must comply with the means test

Must not be maintained or cared for in a state institution, and

Must not be in receipt of another social grant, in respect of him or herself.

3. SOCIAL GRANTS FOR WAR VETERANS

In order to qualify for a social grant for war veterans, the applicant:

Must be a South African citizen

Must be resident in the Republic at the time of application

Must be a war veteran, that is a person who has attained the age of 60 years, or who is disabled and has served full-time in wars, between 1914 and 1945

As well as the spouse, must comply with the means test

Must not be maintained or cared for in a state institution, and

Must not be in receipt of another social grant in respect if him or herself.

4. FOSTER CHILD GRANTS

What is a Foster Child Grant?

A foster child grant is payable to a foster parent or parents in respect of a foster child who has been placed in their custody in terms of the Child Care Act.

What are the Qualifying Requirements?

The child or children must be legally placed in the care of the foster parent/s

The income of the foster child must not exceed twice the annual amount of a foster child grant, and

The applicant and foster child/ren must be resident in the Republic at the time of application.

Note: Foster parents and children need not be South African citizens.

5. CARE-DEPENDENCY GRANTS

What is a care-dependency grant?

A care-dependency grant is payable to the parent/s or foster parents in respect of a care-dependent child between the ages of 1 and 18 years in their care, who, due to severe mental and /or physical disability, needs full-time care.

What are the qualifying requirements?

The parent/s and care-dependent child must be South African citizens

The applicant and care-dependent child must be resident in the Republic at the time of application

The care-dependent child/ren must be between the ages of 1 and 18 years

A medical report and functional assessment for the child must be submitted

Medical treatment must not be refused provided it is not life threatening

At the age of 6 the child/ren must be evaluated as to his or her educability and trainability

The care dependent child/ren must be legally in the care of the parent or foster parent, and

The care-dependent child/ren must not be permanently care for in a state institution.

6. CHILD SUPPORT GRANTS

What is a child support grant?

A child support grant is a grant of R100 per month payable to a primary care-giver in respect of a child or children under the age of seven. A primary care-giver is any person who takes primary responsibility for the daily care needs of the child or children and is not necessarily related to the child/ren.

What are the qualifying requirements?

The child/ren and the primary care-giver must be South African citizens

The child/ren and the primary care-giver must be resident in the Republic at the time of application

The applicant must be the primary care-giver of the child/ren concerned

The child or children must be under the age of 7 years

The grant is payable in respect of a maximum of 6 children

The primary care giver must comply with the financial criteria in the means test

The primary care-giver must not receive remuneration to take care of the child/ren concerned

An institution must not receive an award for taking care of the child

The primary care-giver or any other person must not already be in receipt of a grant on behalf of the child

7. DOCUMENTS REQUIRED WHEN APPLYING FOR GRANTS

The following documents or certified copies must accompany all applications made for grants:

7.1 Documents required for all grants:

South African Identity Document (13 digits) of the applicant and spouse (if applicable) and relevant child/ren

Proof of marital status: marriage certificate, divorce order and agreement and death certificate of late spouse (if widow/er)

7.2 Social Grants:

In addition to the documents mentioned under 7.1, the following documents must be submitted:

Proof of income and assets of the applicant as well as his/her spouse:

Bank statement/s for a period of 3 consecutive months

Interest/dividends earned on investments and bank accounts

Explanation of any deposit and credits in bank accounts

If unemployed, a UIF card (blue card) or discharge certificate from the previous employer

Medical history and report for a disability grant

Proof of war service in the case of war veterans

If a lumpsum was received, documentary proof of how it was invested or spent.

7.3 Child Support Grant

In addition to the documents mentioned under 7.1, the following documents must be submitted when applying for a child support grant:

Each child’s ID or a 13-digit birth certificate with the child’s ID number (if the child does not have an ID or a birth certificate with 13 numbers, the applicant must apply for one at the Department of Home Affairs)

If the applicant is working, he or she must show proof of recent personal income or make a sworn statement

If the applicant is not working, he or she must tell this to the welfare officer

If the applicant is married, he or she must show proof of their spouse’s income if the spouse is working or make a sworn statement

If the applicant is not the parent of the child, he or she must show proof that they have permission to look after the child

If the applicant is looking after the child because the parents are dead or missing, the applicant can apply for the grant.

 

7.4 Foster Child Grants

In addition to the documents mentioned under 7.1, the following documents must accompany an application for a foster child grant:

Identity document or birth certificate with 13 digits for each child

Proof of income for the foster child concerned

Proof of regular school attendance, if the child/ren is of school going age

An order of the Children’s Court.

7.5 Care-dependency Grants

In addition to the documents mentioned under 7.1, the following documents must accompany an application for a care dependency grant:

Identity document or birth certificate with 13 digits for each child

Proof of income of the family

A medical report from a medical officer

Note: An application form will not be completed, unless all the required documents are submitted

8. CANCELLATION OF GRANTS

All grants will be cancelled, should one or more of the following circumstances occur:

8.1 A social grant shall lapse:

On the last day of the month in which the beneficiary dies

when a beneficiary is admitted to a state institution, and

when the period of temporary disability has lapsed in the case of a grant for the disabled.

8.2 A child support grant shall lapse:

On the last day of the month in which the primary care-giver dies

On the last day of the month in which the child in respect of whom the grant is paid, dies

On the last day of the month in which the child in respect of whom the grant is paid, attains the age of 7 years, and

On the last day of the month in which the child is no longer in the custody of the primary care-giver.

8.3 A foster child grant shall lapse:

On the last day of the month in which the last-living foster parents dies

On the last day of the month in which the foster child dies

On the last day of the month in which the foster child is no longer in the custody of the foster parent

At the end of the calendar year in which the foster child attains the age of 18 years, and

With effect from the first day of the month following the month in which the foster child leaves school.

Note:

Continuation of the payment of a foster child grant may be authorised, on recommendation of a social worker:

in the case of a child under the age of 18 years, for a maximum period of 1 year, pending placement; or

in the case of a foster child between the ages of 18 to 21 years, to enable the child to complete hi or her secondary school training, or in the case of a disabled child, his or her special educational training.

8.4 A care-dependency grant shall lapse:

On the last day of the month in which the parent or the foster parent dies

On the last day of the month in which the care-dependent child dies,

On the last day of the month in which the care-dependent child attains the age of 18 years, whereupon he or she will be able to apply for a grant for disabled persons, and

Where a care-dependent child is admitted (permanently) to a psychiatric or care- and rehabilitation centre.

8.5 Any grant shall lapse:

If the beneficiary has not claimed the grant for a consecutive period of three months.

Note:

Application for re-instatement of the grant must be made within 90 days after the grant has lapsed.

Approval and notification procedure

After all the relevant information and documents have been supplied in support of an application for a grant, a decision is made whether to approve or reject the application.

A letter of approval or rejection is furnished as soon as possible to inform the applicant of the outcome.

The applicant must be informed of the reasons of rejection and his or her right to appeal within 90 days.

Note:

For disability and care-dependency grants the same procedure is followed, but a medical report and medical history of the applicant, for assessment and classification by a Medical Pension Officer is required before an application form may be completed.

Date of approval of grants

From 1 April 1998 payment of a grant is made from the date of approval and NOT the date on which the application is made.

Payment of the grant must commence within 3 months of the date of approval.

The policy adopted is that NO applicants should wait longer than 3 months for finalisation (approval or rejection) of their applications, from the date on which the application form is completed together with all the necessary documents.

Note:

A foster child grant is payable from the date on which the child was placed in the custody of the foster parent/s, therefore the date of the court order, on condition that the application for this grant is made within 6 months of the date of the court order.

10. SOCIAL RELIEF OF DISTRESS

10.1 What is a Social Relief of Distress?

Social Relief of distress is a means of alleviating the need of persons by means of the temporary rendering of material assistance to them.

It is therefore intended for persons in such dire material need, that they are unable to meet their needs or their family’s most elementary needs.

It is designed to help persons and families over a crisis period.

10.2 Who qualifies for social relief of distress?

In order to qualify for Social Relief of Distress, the applicant must comply with one or more of the following conditions:

The applicant must be awaiting permanent aid

The applicant must have been found to be medically unfit to undertake remunerative work for a period of less than 6 months

No maintenance is received from the person obliged to pay maintenance, and proof must be submitted that efforts made to trace such a person to obtain maintenance were unsuccessful

The breadwinner is deceased and insufficient means are available

The applicant has been affected by a disaster, and the area of the community in which he or she lives, has not yet been declared a disaster area, and

The applicant is not receiving assistance from any other organisation

Note: No person is entitled to a grant and Social Relief of Distress simultaneously. Overpayments which have occurred in this regard will be recovered from a grant payment, including an arrear grant payment.

10.3 Period and value of Social Relief of Distress

Social Relief of Distress is issued monthly for a period of 3 consecutive months. Extension of the period by a further 3 months may be granted, in exceptional cases.

The value of Social Relief issued for each adult may not exceed the maximum social grant payable per month, and for each child may not exceed the maximum child support grant payable per month.

Note:

In some provinces assistance is only rendered in the form of food vouchers.

Transport expenditure may be paid in exceptional cases where:

The applicant is referred for treatment by a medical officer and no other transport arrangements can be made, and

The applicant must travel to a specific destination to assume employment where he or she will not be dependent on further state aid.

11. FUNERAL EXPENSES

Grant money owing to deceased beneficiaries or children, may be paid to persons who paid for the funeral expenses, if a claim is made within 6 months after the death of the beneficiary or child concerned.

But: The amount payable shall not exceed the amount owing to the deceased beneficiary or child concerned.

12. PAYMENT OF A GRANT

There are different ways in which grants can be paid:

In some provinces, grants are paid out by people employed by the state / Welfare department

In other provinces, grants are paid out by people working for private companies. These companies have been awarded a contract by the welfare department of the province

Grants can also be paid at the Post Office

If applicants have their own bank accounts, the money can be deposited into the account

Grant money in respect of beneficiaries maintained or cared for in institutions may be credited to the institution’s bank account

Note:

If a beneficiary is unable to collect his or her grant money, due to illness or other reasons beyond his or her control, the beneficiary may appoint and authorise another person (procurator) to draw the grant on his or her behalf. It remains the prerogative of the beneficiary to spend the money in any way he or she wishes.

An administrator can be appointed by the Department to administer a grant on behalf of a beneficiary as a result of misspending, mental disability or alcohol abuse on the part of the beneficiary.

REVIEWS

All grants are reviewed at different times and intervals by each province. A review may result in the grant being increased, decreased or cancelled, depending on the information and changed circumstances. Failure to act upon a review will result in the suspension or cancellation of the grant.

FACTSHEET 2

THE NEW CHILD SUPPORT GRANT

The Department of Welfare is committed to reaching 3 million children by the year 2003 through the child support grant. The current figures show that close to 150 000 children are receiving the grant.

The New Child Support Grant regulations were gazetted on 25 June 1999. The requirements for child support grant have been relaxed to encourage applications. The Child Support Grant is a grant of R100 a month per child paid to the primary caregiver of a child.

The child support grant is aimed at helping poor families to look after their children. It can be paid to a mother, father, grandparent or any one else who looks after the child on a day to day basis without being paid.

TO QUALIFY FOR THE CHILD SUPPORT GRANT:

Primary care-giver and child must be SA citizens

Primary care-giver must comply with the means test

Primary care-giver must submit his or her bar-coded 13-digit identity number

The child’s ID or a 13-digit birth certificate with the child’s ID number (If the child does not have an ID or a birth certificate with 13 numbers, the applicant must apply for one at the Department of Home Affairs be fore you apply for the child support grant).

If unemployed the applicant can tell this to the welfare official.

If applicant is working he or she must show proof of recent income or make a sworn statement.

If applicant is married he or she must show proof of spouse’s income if they are working or make a sworn statement.

If applicant is not a parent of the child, he or she must show proof that they have permission to look after the child.

Any one looking after the child because the parents are dead or missing can also apply for the grant.

FACTSHEET 3

COMPREHENSIVE SOCIAL SECURITY SYSTEM

In November 1998, the Minister for Welfare, Population and Development set up an inter-departmental consultative process to determine the feasibility and requirements for the introduction of a comprehensive social security system in South Africa. The Department of Welfare is convening the task team as part of the consultative process.

SPECIFIC TERMS OF REFERENCE

To review the current status of programs and provisions related to social security with the aim of identifying the gaps in the present system, investigating the manner in which the various provisions may be restructured, individually or in combination to provide for a comprehensive social security system.

To review policy options within the context of international best practice and social solidarity principles underlying them.

To provide Cabinet with recommendations for moving towards a comprehensive and integrated social security system in South Africa.

The inter-departmental task-team is planning to submit proposals to Cabinet by October 1999.

FACTSHEET 4

DISASTER RELIEF FUND

The Department of Welfare administers the Disaster Relief Fund as established in terms of Section 16 of the Fund-Raising Act, 1978 (act107 of 1978).

This fund is managed by a board appointed by the Minister for Welfare, Population and Development. The board may appoint a committee to carry out its objectives as prescribed and according to the needs of the situation.

The President may, by proclamation in the government gazette, declare an even to be a disaster, as outlined in the Act, if in his opinion the event has or is likely to have disastrous consequences.

Financial assistance is given on an ex-gratia basis for damage or loss with regard to the following:

Buildings: houses, outbuildings, walls, barns, cellars, factories, business premises and flats

Contents: furniture, equipment, personal effects and stock

Agriculture: livestock, implements, harvested crops and fences

Motor vehicles: including caravans that are used for accommodation

FACTSHEET 5

WELFARE PAYMENT AND INFORMATION SERVICE (WPIS)

The Department of Welfare needs to improve the operational efficiency of its grant payments. Every month about 3 million South Africans receive pensions or grants, totalling more than R16 billion for the past financial year. This is a major poverty alleviation programme of government.

The Department of Welfare will publish a tender to find a business partner to completely reengineer the payment of social grants and establish a new Welfare Payment and information Service (WPIS).

The objective of the WPIS is to design a service that will offer citizens who qualify at least the following:

Access to arrange of payment options including physical and electronic cash services and partial withdrawal of benefits

Access to a high quality service with quick turn around times between application and first payment

Value added services such as interest-bearing savings mechanisms and other micro-finance services

Access to information regarding the full range of welfare services offered in South Africa

The objective is also to offer government at least the following:

The most cost-effective way to administer public funds

Significant fraud reduction

Accuracy of beneficiary information to ensure that the service is targeted in line with government policy to reach the poorest of the poor

A high level of productivity of staff responsible for the payment and information functions

The ability to reconcile payments on a daily basis

These stated objectives will also improve medium to long term budgetary planning. The current cost of disbursing social grants is estimated at around R500m per month.

Appendix 6:

Findings of Forensic Audits & Database Interrogation, Eastern Cape

 

Department of Welfare - Eastern Cape

FRAUD AND OTHER FORMS OF ABUSE

During the forensic auditing and interrogation of the Provincial Social Security database the following exceptions; were unearthed:

EMPLOYED PERSONS AND FORMER CIVIL SERVANTS DRAWING GRANTS ILLEGALLY.

Government officials (employed)

985

Transitional Local

 

Authorities (employed)

547

Total

1 532

Monetary Value (per month)

R 796 640

Monetary Value (per annum)

R955 9580

 

Recipients of both civil pensions and

 

social grants #

3 277

Monetary value (per month)

R1 704 040

Monetary value (per annum)

R20 448 480

# Failed to declare their income on application.

PERSONS RECIVING DOULBE PAYMENTS

Old age Duplicates

3 487

Disability grant duplicates

306

Swapped names

104

Duplicate old age and disability grants

1 476

Total

5 373

Monetary value (per month)

R2 793 960

Monetary value (per annum)

R33 527 520

SUSPECT BENEFICIARIES OVER THE AGE OF 80 YEARS

Pay Point

District

Beneficiaries

230207

Port Alfred

261

240139

Cala

383

240312

Lady Frere

111

240315

Lady Frere

174

242201

Lusikisiki

127

242101

Flagstaff

133

240321

Lady Frere

115

240327

Lady Frere

124

Total

 

1 428

Monetary value (per annum)

R 742 560

Monetary value (per month)

R 8910 720

The department is not in any way suggesting that persons over the age of 80 years do not qualify for social security grants. What raises suspicions is the number of this age group that receives such grants in one pay-point.

 

Further investigations that the department is engaged in.

 

Our investigations in Idutywa have unearthed the following exceptions:

Duplicates

20

Deceased beneficiaries

137

Too young to draw old age grants

20

Ghosts*

400

Total No of exceptions

577

Monetary Value (per annum)

R 300 040

Monetary Value (per month)

R 3 600 480

 

· Persons who have failed to collect their grants for three consecutive months since the start of the verification exercise.

 

· In another case the following was discovered - 150 finger print runs of the same person drawing and cashing grants illegally. Two departmental officials have since been arrested. The investigations of this case are so sensitive that any publicity will be detrimental to its outcome.

The Department is also engaged in further data mining investigations to identify persons suspected of receiving double payments from different payment methods using different identity documents.

· The following towns have been specifically targeted for intensive investigation:

· Lady Frere - where 1 650 identical finger print runs have been identified and

· Centane - where members of the Welfare Forum have raised concerns about rampant fraudulent activities.

· Cofimvaba - where members of the community reported cases of fraud.

 

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