SASSA confirms that payment was made to more than 74,000 dead beneficiaries

The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) has addressed recent reports on SABC 404, confirming that an inadvertent payment was made to more than 74,000 deceased beneficiaries.

Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu clarified the agency’s stance, asserting that ongoing corruption investigations aside, the primary cause of errors is delayed death reporting by families in comparison to SASSA’s monthly beneficiary cross-check with the Department of Home Affairs.

Corruption Investigations and Timing Discrepancies:

Minister Zulu acknowledged corruption investigations by SASSA’s Fraud and Compliance Unit but highlighted that the majority of the discrepancies are not attributed to corruption.

Instead, she pointed to the timing of death reporting by responsible family members in relation to the date when SASSA extracts payments for the affected clients.

SASSA’s Standard Process:

SASSA outlined its standard process, involving automated monthly comparisons to verify beneficiary status, deactivating records of deceased individuals before payment extraction.

Unfortunately, late death reporting can lead to premature payments. To counteract this, SASSA conducts periodic face-to-face reviews to validate beneficiary information.

The reported 74,000 deaths over three years constitute only 0.01% of the 18 million monthly clients.

Collaboration with Home Affairs and Anti-Corruption Efforts:

Recognizing the challenges, SASSA emphasized its collaboration with the Department of Home Affairs to enhance system connectivity, aiming to curb corruption.

The agency remains committed to collaborating with law enforcement, having previously worked alongside HAWKS in this regard.

Anti-Fraud Strategy and Vigilance Promotion:

SASSA highlighted the implementation of a robust fraud-prevention strategy aligned with the National Anti-Corruption Strategy.

Ongoing awareness campaigns are conducted to promote vigilance and integrity within the organization.

Commitment to Transparency and Improvement:

In conclusion, SASSA reassured the public of its dedication to addressing challenges, maintaining transparency, and strengthening collaborations for organizational improvement.

The agency remains focused on eradicating fraud, enhancing system connectivity, and fostering a vigilant and integrous organizational culture.

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