Auditor-General cautions social development department over 'inaccurate' systems and records – News24

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Saturday, 10 December
12 Oct
Record-keeping at the social development department is so inadequate that its “source documentation” cannot support its performance reporting.
This means the public cannot accurately know how effective the department is in providing early childhood development services to the country’s poor. 
This is one of several findings the Auditor-General (AG) made in the 2021-2022 financial year audit outcomes for the department and its entities.
The AG was unable to obtain sufficient evidence to audit “the reliability of the achievement of 57.7% reported” of children who have access to quality early childhood development services during the financial year.
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“Inadequate systems to track the achievement of targets for early childhood development (ECD) services may have a negative impact on the quality of ECD services provided, since the department is unable to ascertain the nature of the curriculum provided by the ECD centres.”
The report read:

In respect of the SA Social Security Agency (Sassa), the AG found that the actual achievement reported for the percentage of new grant applications, processed within stipulated timeframes, differed from the supporting evidence provided for the audit.
“As a result, the accuracy of the reported achievement for that indicator could not be confirmed. Inaccurate systems to track application turnaround times have a direct impact on service delivery by the entity. This is due to some undetected delays in providing social assistance to citizens. This is also aligned to the public outcry on delays of processing their applications by the agency,” the AG’s report said.
Furthermore, the department provided flood victims in KwaZulu-Natal with approximately 99 500 hot meals and 10 894 food vouchers for groceries.
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The April floods claimed the lives of over 400 people, and more than 40 000 people were displaced.
Last week, News24 reported that, of the 3 950 households, there were still 1 449 still displaced.
Just over 2 600 humanitarian goods were delivered, 4 159 cash distributions were paid directly into bank accounts, and 816 school uniforms were provided in KZN and the Eastern Cape.
Faizel Hassen Jogee, a senior manager at the AG, said: “We did not identify any material findings or risks on the provision of social relief. The loss of documents (identity documents and school records) and the inability of flood victims to access online facilities understandably had an effect on the effectiveness of controls to prevent payments and aid to beneficiaries not entitled to it,” he said.

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