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SASSA Paid More Than R31M in 2024

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SASSA Paid More Than R31M in 2024

SASSA Paid More Than R31M in 2024, The South African Social Services Agency (Sassa) has come under scrutiny for reportedly disbursing over R31 million to beneficiaries who have passed away between the years 2023 and 2024. This revelation surfaced in response to a parliamentary inquiry initiated by the Democratic Alliance (DA).

Irregular Payments and Ministerial Confirmation

In a written response, Minister of Social Development Lindiwe Zulu acknowledged the occurrence of irregular payments to deceased individuals, a situation that has persisted over the past three years. Zulu explained that such errors arise when a grant beneficiary passes away after the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) confirms proof of life and before the payment is released to the beneficiary’s bank account.

Incorrect Payments

The monetary breakdown of these erroneous payments over the last three fiscal years is as follows:

  • 2021/2022 – R59,256,000
  • 2022/2023 – R50,372,000
  • 2023/2024 – R31,928,000.

Sassa Remedial Measures

To mitigate the withdrawal of social grant funds, Sassa adopts a two-pronged approach. First, the agency freezes the accounts of deceased beneficiaries through the Post Bank. Subsequently, Sassa issues letters to the next of kin, urging them to return the misallocated funds to the agency.

Collaborative Efforts with the Department of Home Affairs

Minister Zulu highlighted that Sassa collaborates closely with the Department of Home Affairs to validate deceased data. Monthly checks are conducted to verify the life status of beneficiaries before any payment is initiated, ensuring that funds are disbursed only to living individuals.

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Political Responses and Concerns

Various political parties, including the ATM, have expressed outrage at the mismanagement of funds through incorrect payments by Sassa. ATM spokesperson Zama Ntshona voiced deep concern, emphasizing that such irregularities are unacceptable in a country grappling with high unemployment rates and a significant wealth disparity.

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Conclusion

The revelation of over R31 million disbursed to deceased beneficiaries by Sassa raises critical questions about the efficacy of government oversight. The agency commitment to preventing further erroneous payments through collaboration with the Department of Home Affairs and implementing remedial measures is essential to restore public trust in the social grant distribution system. The impact of these financial irregularities on a nation facing economic challenges cannot be overstated, prompting a call for increased vigilance and accountability in managing public funds.

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