04 June 2021 - NW1079
Masango, Ms B to ask the Minister of Social Development
What is the total (a) amount paid by the SA Social Security Agency to recipients who did not qualify for all types of grants in 2020 and (b) value of double dipping where recipients are being paid for more than one grant, essentially taking advantage of the system?
a) Normal practice is that SASSA does not pay people who do not qualify for the different type of grants. SASSA only pays recipients who are deemed to have met the qualification criteria for the different types of grants. However, SASSA may under exceptional circumstances end up paying people who do not qualify, where there is misrepresentation from the grant applicant.
During 2020 SASSA detected possible fraud involving the following:
(i) 1 768 SAPO employees who were receiving social grants. The grants were suspended saving SASSA approximately R1.5 million per month.
(ii) 4 726 grant beneficiaries who transacted outside South Africa during the lockdown period when the international borders were closed. The grants were suspended saving SASSA approximately R7 million per month.
(iii) 105 active Correctional Services inmates who were receiving social grants. These grants were cancelled saving SASSA approximately R196 000 per month.
b) The Social Pensions System is configured in such a way that double dipping between different social grants can be detected and prevented. Thus there have been no incidents of double dipping that have been detected within the social grants system administered within SASSA.
The Auditor General of South Africa has identified incidents of double dipping involving the applicants of the special COVID 19 SRD grant who also applied for other COVID 19 relief measures administered by other government entities. While AGSA identified a total of 80 117 cases in the first 3 months of this grant, on confirming information, 25 088 people were identified with a value of R8 780 800 as having received the R350 grant to which they were not entitled. Debts are being raised for these citizens. It should also be noted that, as soon as the anomalies were identified by AGSA, payment of the special relief grant to these clients was stopped, thus limiting the loss to the state.
National Assembly Written Reply: 1079 of 2021
Approved by the Minister of Social Development