Major financial losses due to fraud, Sassa tells MPs – EWN

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Sassa CEO Busisiwe Memela-Khambula told MPs that the agency was grappling with a lot of fraud centred around the old age and disability grant.
CAPE TOWN – The South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) says it has suffered major financial losses due to fraud, with wealthy people who earn millions benefiting from the social relief of distress grant.
The agency and the Department of Social Development on Wednesday briefed Parliament on annual reports and audit findings.
Sassa officials told Parliament that the agency was facing a number of challenges and also received an unqualified audit opinion from the Auditor-General.
Sassa CEO Busisiwe Memela-Khambula told MPs that the agency was grappling with a lot of fraud centred around the old age and disability grant.
The COVID-19 social relief of distress grant was also targeted by fraudulent applications, mainly from the undeserving.
She said that there were 16 million fraudulent applications, including recipients of government tenders.
"These are about 16 million people who we were proactively able to detect that these people are applying, but have already benefitted from other systems or they have alternative income. Some are even having alternative income as much as a million (rand). Some are spaza shop owners some have benefitted from business or even government tenders."
Sassa told MPs that it was in the process of developing a fraud detection system.
The agency said that it had managed to identify people working in collusion with Sassa officials to apply for disability and old age grants fraudulently.

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