Friday, April 27, 2012

Siphoning off R40 billion

Public servants have illegally received more than R40.8 billion in fraudulent social grant claims between August 2009 and December 2011.

This was revealed in an answer to a parliamentary question from the Democratic Alliance (DA) by Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini on Thursday.

The money lost through social grant fraud by public servants could have paid 145,875 child support grants.

The Department of Social Development confirmed last week that the Special Investigating Unit had found 25,255 cases of social grant fraud by public officials since the inception of the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) in 2005.

"It is clear that this type of corruption has become endemic and that we need urgent intervention by the Department," Mike Walters, DA spokesperson.

A reply to a DA parliamentary question received from the Department of Social Development in March this year confirmed that 80% of staff members employed by SASSA have not been properly vetted.
"We will continue to push for the names and positions of public servants involved in social grant fraud. It may very well be that the individuals involved are in senior positions and have significant influence over the system and databases," Walters said.

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