Shop owner found with 47 social grant cards

2015-07-10 17:30
(Supplied)

(Supplied)

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Johannesburg - A shop owner from Madipalesa village outside Pampierstad in the North West was found in possession of 47 social grant cards, Social Development MEC Fenny Gaolaolwe said on Friday.

It was believed the shop owner kept the cards after giving the grant beneficiaries loans and groceries on credit.

"While we condemn this practice as government, we appeal to the shop owner and any other money lenders to discontinue their illegal acts. We call on the community members to report these incidents to Sassa offices or the department," said MEC for Social Development, Fenny Gaolaolwe. 

"We cannot sit back when affluent people take advantage of our grannies," Gaolaolwe said. 

The shop keeper's alleged dealings were uncovered after Gaolaolwe visited the Madipalesa village on Thursday, where she handed out food parcels and blankets. 

She entered the house of one elderly woman and asked to see her SA Social Security Agency (Sassa) card. 

The pensioner failed to produce the card and said her card and those of several others were being kept by the shop owner. 

Gaolaolwe alerted the police and the shop owner was confronted. After an altercation with the police, she handed over the cards, the department said.  

The shop owner reportedly told police that the grant beneficiaries told her that their cards were safe and secure as long as they were kept in her shop, away from the beneficiaries' children who intimidated their parents and abused their cards.

The department however, also claimed that some people informed them that the social grant beneficiaries were paying heavy charges for buying on credit from the shop owner, who knew the PINs.

In addition, it was alleged, many of them were paying huge amounts of money for a burial scheme insurance operated by the shop owner on behalf of another company in the Northern Cape. 

Gaolaolwe has ordered local Sassa officials to lay a formal charge against the shop owner. 

Read more on:    sassa  |  mahikeng  |  crime

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