Department welcomes arrest of 14 social grant fraudsters
The Western Cape Department of Social Development welcomes the arrest of the 14 people allegedly part of a massive country-wide social grant fraud syndicate.
The fact that 8 of the people arrested were employees of the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) confirms our long-held view that SASSA’s systems have been corrupted. The victims of this have been grant recipients, who are our society’s most vulnerable.
Efforts by SASSA to clean up its administration are most welcome, and long overdue.
Of particular concern to us are the six members of the public, alleged to be part of the syndicate, who were nabbed in Cape Town. It is worrying that there is alleged colluding both within and outside SASSA to defraud the system.
The trend would suggest that this is a wider spread issue, as the Specialized Commercial Crimes Court in Bellville had recently (November 2015) convicted and sentenced 5 former SASSA employees for similar collusive, corrupt and fraudulent activities.
These arrests should serve as a strong message and a deterrent to any other would-be criminals looking to commit social grant fraud, whether from within or outside the system.
The SASSA is a national entity run by the National Department of Social Development. Provincial DSD have no operational control over SASSA, just an oversight role.
The Western Cape Minister of Social Development, Adv. Albert Fritz, has been vocal on calling on SASSA to improve its systems, and clean up its administration. This has been in response to the numerous complaints the provincial department receives about SASSA related to illegal deductions from old age pensions, corruption and grant fraud.
The Ministry will continue to play its oversight role over SASSA in the Western Cape, and we will monitor the criminal cases of the 6 arrested in the province. The public can report any suspected social grant fraud to the department’s hotline on 0800 220 250.
Spokesperson for Albert Fritz, Minister of Social Development
Western Cape Government
7th floor, 14 Queen Victoria Street, Cape Town, 8000
Tel : (021) 483 9217
Cell : 076 083 6543
Email : Sihle.Ngobese@westerncape.gov.za