The Western Cape Minister of Social Development, Adv. Albert Fritz, continues to call on the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) to urgently stop all unauthorized deductions from social grant beneficiaries.
This comes in the wake of a public meeting held at the Kraaifontein Youth Centre, in which SASSA officials, including SASSA Regional Head, Dr. Waldie Terblanche, were confronted by just under 200 community members on their inefficiencies and fraud.
The overwhelming number of complaints from the community related to illegal and unauthorised grant deductions. People complained of having funds missing from their grants, listed as either “airtime”, “electricity vouchers” or “policies”, which they never signed-up for nor do they receive the benefits of.
There is no space for empty rhetoric and frivolous talk-shops. SASSA must act on every complaint they received from the communities at these meetings.
The Western Cape Department of Social Development (DSD) will continue to attend these public meetings in order to play our oversight role over SASSA, which is an independent national entity.
We continue to call on the public to be vigilant, and for them to not give out their account pin numbers and details. In addition, Western Cape Minister of Social Development, Adv. Albert Fritz, has written to the National Minister of Social Development, Bathabile Dlamini, requesting urgent action to stop the illegal deductions experienced by social grant recipients.
Residents of the Western Cape continue to fall victim to illegal and unauthorised deductions from the social grants. SASSA itself cites having received in excess of 2000 complaints in February alone.
Even though DSD has no operational control over SASSA, the Provincial Ministry has since the beginning of this year received 27 complaints related to illegal deductions. To date, the Ministry has assisted with 626 cases since 2010.
It must always be borne in mind that social grant recipients are the poorest of the poor, and are people from the most vulnerable segments of our society. To have any money missing from their grants has serious implications for their day-to-day basic needs, such as food.