06 January 2021 - NW2262
van der Merwe, Ms LL to ask the Minister of Social Development
What (a) has her department done since the pronouncement by the Auditor-General that the SA Social Security Agency relied on old systems to pay out the R350 grant and therefore might have erroneously paid many persons who did not qualify and/or many who qualified did not get paid and (b) steps has her department taken to correct the resultant errors?
a) I must point out that AGSA had access to other databases which SASSA did not have at the time AGSA conducted the validations.
SASSA promptly suspended all accounts that were flagged by AGSA and suspected to be fraudulent. All the suspected accounts are currently under investigation. This will be followed by a recovery process, if it is indeed found that some of those paid were illegible for the Special COVID-19 SRD Grant. It is also worth repeating and bringing it to the attention of the Honourable Member that there were some discrepancies in the AGSA findings, which SASSA highlighted to them. Most of these could be attributed to a time difference between the time the assessment was done by SASSA and when AGSA considered the data. AGSA has acknowledged these findings.
b) From the inception of the grant, we were committed to ensuring that only eligible applicants receive it, considering the unprecedented socio-economic difficulties confronting many individuals and households.
In cases where applicants may have been erroneously excluded, SASSA has reconsidered every application every month. However, every applicant who has been declined has the right to request SASSA to reconsider the decision, should he/she believe that the decision made was incorrect.