R238m lost to social grant fraud

2011-05-30 22:07

Parliament - The SA Social Security Agency (SASSA) has lost R238m to social grant fraud since 2005, Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini said on Monday.

The agency was defrauded of R12m in 2005, when it was established. In 2006, the figure more than doubled, the minister said in written reply to a parliamentary question by the Democratic Alliance.

She said 17 908 fraud cases were brought to court by December 2010 and 15 004 people have so far been convicted of social grant fraud.

Dlamini said by the end of last year, the government had recovered more than R85m, and was hoping to get back all money lost due to fraud.

She said every person convicted for defrauding Sassa was made to sign an acknowledgement of debt to repay the money, with interest of 15%.

The state is still owed R214m and is collecting the money on a monthly basis. The interest collected is paid over to the national treasury.

  • Bill - 2011-05-30 22:31

    WTF - "sign an acknowledgement of debt to repay the money" how about jail time...!!

      croix - 2011-05-31 00:37

      How about some jail time for the person REALLY responsible for theft out of the Department's coffers - The Honourable Minister ! It'll be fun to see how quick they put measures in place to stop the rot!

      Wernerkwane - 2011-05-31 06:19

      Mark my words. Nothing will come of this.

      Tea party - 2011-05-31 06:55

      @bill the problem is where they are going to find space in our prisons to accommodate 15 000 people!! Our already overburdened court rooms will not even be able to process all those cases in our lifetime. It is actually mind bogelling to even think that 15 000 people are guilty of this criminal act! Oh and once this "protection of information act" is passed we would not even hear about these stories anymore as the government could simply classify it as "top secret", and journalists could be prosecuted for publishing a story like this.

      Creeky - 2011-05-31 06:58

      HAHAHAHAHA!!!! WTF? Paying BACK the Stolen monies? TAKE IT BACK.... EMPTY OUT THEIR BANK ACCOUNTS or the shoe boxes in their cupboard / under their beds!!!!!!!! Any bets these KNOWN THIEVES, STILL WORK FOR THE SAME DEPT?????????

      Rolie - 2011-05-31 08:06

      @Creeky - That is the problem! They are probably still working for the same department. There is no way they will pay back this debt, let alone the 15% interest. They should be named, shamed and taken to court and punished like any other civillian would be. Theft of any kind is a crime. When are these ANC morons running this country going to wake up!!!! - 2011-05-31 10:45

      Easy solution - stop paying the grants, and make the people get off their asses and start working for a living. There are cars to be washed, gardens to be done, ironing and cleaning - Price yourself correctly and you will get work.

      lakhan7 - 2011-05-31 11:08

      NAME AND SHAME them, let the communities know ...a law like this would make an good honest person think twice about money that is not due to them.

  • Karel - 2011-05-30 23:06

    The biggest grant fraud take place in small towns.In a town like Hankey almost everybody is getting grant but 80% of them are employed 9 months of the year to harvest citris fruit.On grant paydays nobody pitches for work because they must collect grant. The worst is local government structures knows it but for the sake of votes they do not act to stop it and bring fraudsters to book.

      Human - 2011-05-31 07:18

      How much do you pay them?

      Fred - 2011-05-31 11:12

      Renoster, you should try living off what you pay your workers, mate. Alternatively, try only being employed for 9 months on a pittance. I'm not defending the fraud, but wake up Karel.

      Gavin Hardie - 2011-05-31 12:18

      Yeah, shame. They probably don't earn much so we should let them steal a bit. Geesh... man. You should try living on the amount you paying them. Show a bit of compassion. We should implement a sort of sliding scale where the less you earn the more you allowed to defraud the government. Right?

  • Flasheart - 2011-05-30 23:27

    Hmmmmm BISTO!

  • cheryl.sadie - 2011-05-30 23:49

    The unfortunate catch 22 is that if you jail everyone that defrauded the government on social grants, our jails will be fuller than they already are and we will not recover the money, instead, we will be spending the money and creating a bigger social problem. Yes, theft is theft, I agree...but what are the real options, most people will learn a lesson; (85mil recovered) if in jail, you taking away the only bread winners and turning their children into criminals for food... a basic need and face it, once in jail, you never the same, if you ever come out alive and without a disease. I do not condone the behavior, but do understand the government's approach.

      kaMazibuko - 2011-05-31 06:25

      That's a good way of looking at it. Because grant fraud is not done by the hardest of criminals it's just poor(greedy in some cases) people who want to supplement their daily income. Let them pay it back they will learn a lesson. And for once let us say well done when the gorvenment is doing something right

      Cubby - 2011-05-31 06:50

      they are criminals and need jail time, no discussion needed. And if their children grow up to be anything like them they will be criminals anyway.

      ZipZap - 2011-05-31 07:08

      LOL, understand the approach? I would rather have my tax money build NEW PRISONS!!!!

      Dread69 - 2011-05-31 07:14

      kaMazibuko - I would agree with your stance if the thieves doing the stealing were poor. In this case they're all greedy. What are the repayments per month? How many months will it take to pay back what the stole? A couple of increases down the line (and we all know what sort of percentages they get) and they can afford to pay back another 'special' loan. These thieves learn no lessons. If there's no jail time, post a picture of them together with their names and how much they stole in all major newspapers. They're not poor people supplementing their income - they're thieves stealing from those with NO INCOME!

  • LagUTroll - 2011-05-31 06:10

    That's about R120 000 a day in fraud...

  • LeslieS - 2011-05-31 06:46

    Yawn, fraud and more fraud . Why don't we hear of any convictions? How long can this gravy train continue chugging along?

  • jerry naidoo - 2011-05-31 06:56

    Only R238million stolen,and, they are being prosecuted for that.WOW,the other departments steal X times more.It is their fault,they should have stolen much,much more to avoid prosecution

  • ZipZap - 2011-05-31 07:06

    LOL, CLASSIC shit. "sign an acknowledgement....." ag wtf, our parliament is a bunch of criminals as well, whats the difference.

  • Spinnie - 2011-05-31 07:12

    Lost?? More like stolen.

      Mad hatter - 2011-05-31 07:17

      Amen Spinner

  • Mad hatter - 2011-05-31 07:15

    There's one thing these guys do well..... steal

  • Born To Fish - 2011-05-31 07:16

    This is why we are going to pay for tolls! Thieves!!!!!!

  • Niekie - 2011-05-31 07:17

    And as always our tax money goes into the pockets of the sub-human scum! At least it is in line with anc policy : we lie, we cheat, we steal! Well done again to the braddas and sistas!

  • Ekspatvos - 2011-05-31 07:54

    @ Bill - I like your thinking, HOWEVER, these people have already walked off with taxpayers' money, and sending them to jail (where they get free M-Net without paying TV licence fees) implies a further burden on taxpayers. Double whammy. I question though the people running the agency - they were defrauded since establishment some 6 years ago! C'mon, if someone defrauds me once, I put checks and balances in place to prevent me being caught a second time.

  • Rolie - 2011-05-31 08:04

    @Creeky - That is the problem! They are probably still working for the same department. There is no way they will pay back this debt, let alone the 15% interest. They should be named, shamed and taken to court and punished like any other civillian would be. Theft of any kind is a crime. When are these ANC morons running this country going to wake up!!!!

  • Al Schaeffer - 2011-05-31 08:11

    What frustrates me is that when our finance minister realisess that they need more taxes for funding, they keep taxing those that are trying to make an honest living. Whether it's more toll roads or fuel levies, we all, rich and poor feel the pinch, but if they just stamped out fraudulent activities and corruption, we could probably lesses our tax margins and still come out with more returns in the state coffers. How about enlisting suitable qualified private auditors and pay them R20m to finally weed out this waste and pocket the other couple of hundred million, which can then be used to fund genuine needs.

  • KPActivities - 2011-05-31 08:33

    Is this the same social grants that Zuma was so proud of the other day??

  • Old Man - 2011-05-31 08:44

    More than R1 in every R4 is being stolen from funds allocated to social grants. Fix the leak or find someone who will.

  • Francina Aphane - 2011-05-31 08:45

    Even foreigners get the grants through their fraudulent id's. Why is our government not getting this? I mean they travel from Lesotho, Zimbabwe and Swaziland to claim their share of the gravy train. If our government are not able to trace this people who are chowing our tax money, how capable are they to bring service delivery to the people? There are still foreigners who still have the fake id's so their children can attend school, when they travel they just leave it behind and produce their required docs to cross the border. Fraud and corruption is committed everyday in SA and nothing is done about it.

  • Kevin - 2011-05-31 08:47

    This is just the tip of the iceberg!!!Just before elections a staff member provided me with a document he needed filling out so that he could claim a grant.When questioned that he is currently employed and did not warrant the grant...response was dont worry just vote correctly and he'd receive it no problem.

  • ji - 2011-05-31 08:48

    the only honest ANC official or member ... is a dead one .

  • Anthony Nelson - 2011-05-31 09:06

    why not make these people work for money anyway. 90% are fit and healthy and would rather sit at home and pop out kids they cant afford to look after or feed. maybe they should stop grants and make people work for what they want. and use this grant money for something constructive.

  • Snakebite - 2011-05-31 09:16

    BULLSHIT. The ANC "convinces" the electorate that the "Grants" are given to loyal supporters that vote for the ruling party. The so called "agreement" to repay the money is purely a scam to justify the scam that efforts are in place to "recover" the money. It will be easier for mandella to run the comrades that recovering this money. Go ANC - of these days the kitty will be empty.What then???

  • bob - 2011-05-31 09:25

    please could News 24 foward these comments to the Goverment for constructive crit, they need to know what we think of them!

  • Virginia - 2011-05-31 10:53

    Put these sods in jail, fire them give their jobs to some worthy people. THey are taking the food out of the mouths of the poor, and the Government is to involved with Africa to see what is hqappening in South Africa. Charity begins at home Mr Zuma stop worring about Mugabi and Ghadaffi, let them fry if they have to.

  • carjan - 2011-05-31 13:27

    Crime - It's more popular than soccer in RSA

  • Makes Vdwatt - 2013-03-26 19:48

    the problem is so widespread,millions will end up in jail,the solution is to cut it out,only give grants to disable people

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