Foreigners fleecing welfare system

2011-08-16 22:14

Cape Town - Thousands of foreigners from neighbouring states are enjoying the benefits of South Africa's welfare and pension systems, MPs heard on Tuesday.

Immigration services deputy director general Jackson McKay told a joint sitting of Parliament's labour and home affairs portfolio committees that a roadblock last year, near Musina in Limpopo, had discovered more than 3 000 Zimbabweans carrying South African IDs.

"We ran an operation at the end of the Christmas period. People returning from Christmas holidays. We had a roadblock... and we found in excess of 3 000 Zimbabweans carrying South African documentation.

"So they have access to grants, they have access to all the benefits South Africans have. And they are residing [in Zimbabwe]."

The operation had been set up after officials noticed there was "an inordinate number of 'South Africans' travelling to Zimbabwe", especially over Christmas and Easter.

Living two lives

Earlier, McKay told the committee that a lack of integration between home affairs' systems gave individuals an opportunity to "reside in different regimes within the department's databases, sometimes under different names and enjoying multiple benefits under assumed identities".

Responding to a question on this, he said some of these individuals were actually living across the border, but crossing into South Africa once a month to collect benefits.

"There are people who have South African documentation and... when it is grant time, or pension time, they cross the border to collect the pensions and go back again.

"So they benefit from us. Sometimes they use different names. They enjoy multiple benefits."

Referring to Zimbabweans who had fraudulently procured South African documents, he explained that many lived two lives.

"Some of these Zimbabweans are known as John Smith in South Africa, and John Ngcube in Zimbabwe. And indeed, they live two lives. They have assets, they have bank [accounts], they have everything in Zimbabwe; and they have another identity in South Africa," McKay said.

Asked after the briefing for figures, McKay said these were not immediately available.

The two committees were looking into the presence of foreign nationals within the South African labour market.

Earlier, McKay told members that of the more than 66 000 work permits issued by home affairs in the first quarter of this financial year (April to June), a total of 59 363 were issued to Zimbabweans, in terms of the department's Documentation of Zimbabweans Project.

- SAPA
Read more on:    home affairs  |  polokwane
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
46 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

LOL! Best outdoor girl fails

It’s not only guys who have FAIL moments! Here are some of the funniest outdoor fails where girls are the victims!

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

90-year-old's incredible travels
10 facts about swimming you didn't know
Halloween night run
Exciting new zipline for Cape Town!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

It's Flash Sale Friday – one day only!

Buy 3 & get the cheapest 1 FREE: On selected DVDs, Blu-rays, series and music. While stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R2100 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

TV Series – 2 for R299

Loads of hot titles to choose from. Shop now!

Hot offer: Up to 50% off irons

Save up to 50% on all Philips irons. While stocks last. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There may be some tension that is caused through social conflicts -- personal interests versus obligations. You may feel an...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.