Maki Molapo15 January 2024 | 8:52

DA calls for probe into alleged SASSA grant payment system rigging

Claims arouse that SASSA’s unchecked outdated databases had resulted in thousands of undue payments continuing to be made.

DA calls for probe into alleged SASSA grant payment system rigging

A South African Social Security Agency office in Pretoria. Picture: Kayleen Morgan/Eyewitness News

JOHANNESBURG - The Democratic Alliance (DA) has called for investigations into those implicated in the alleged rigging of the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) social grant payment system.

This follows claims that thousands of undue payments continued to be made, as the social security agency’s outdated databases went unchecked.

Minister of Social Development Lindiwe Zulu previously revealed to Parliament that SASSA paid out R140 million to more than 70,000 deceased beneficiaries over the past three financial years.

It’s also understood that thousands of public servants had been illegally cashing in on the COVID-19 social relief of distress grants.

READ: DA to Ramaphosa: Commission independent audit of social grant recipient database

The DA's Bridget Masango said a fresh audit on the databases is needed, calling for harsher sanctions against those found wanting.

“Despite violations amounting to 40,000, the public service system has only instituted 42 disciplinary proceedings against implicated public servants for improper behaviour. This is just a drop in the ocean considering the scale of the fraud that took place.”

Masango said SASSA's payout system remained vulnerable: “Revelations of substantial payments to deceased individuals and underserving beneficiaries highlights a severe compromise in the integrity of the social grant recipient databases, putting an undue burden on the South African taxpayer.”