The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) stopped 6 000 payments in the August payment cycle. In a statement, the Agency said this was part of a joint operation with the SA Post Office to combat grant fraud.
After intensively studying trends, the Agency said, the modus operandi of the fraudsters was exposed.
“Subsequently systems and controls were tightened. We can confidently say that the noose has tightened on these criminals and the law will deal harshly with them. In the recent past, the courts have not only sentenced people found guilty of social grant fraud but have issued orders for them to repay what they stole from the State.”
SASSA was working with stakeholders including all banks to ensure that that fraud within the grants system was eliminated.
“SASSA is committed to addressing fraud and will continue to do verification of bank details. This means that if a record is not corrected with both SASSA and the bank, the payment will not go through every month.”
SASSA advised any innocent and affected beneficiaries whose payments had been stopped to make an affidavit at the police station confirming that bank and account holder details are correct. After making an affidavit, a beneficiary must take their bar coded or smart card ID together with the completed affidavit to SASSA or the Post Office. Those using personal banks must bring along proof of banking details from their banks.
“SASSA wishes to apologise unreservedly for any convenience that might arise.”