File picture: African News Agency (ANA)
File picture: African News Agency (ANA)

Sassa to pull plug on double dipping in social grants by civil servants

By Mayibongwe Maqhina Time of article published Jun 24, 2021

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The South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) is looking at pulling the plug on double dipping by civil servants by linking up its database with those of other government entities when processing social grants.

The move will see the agency accessing databases of municipalities, the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF), Government Employee Pension Fund (GEPF) and the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) when processing social grant applications.

This means that Sassa would not just access the personnel and salaries (Persal) management system – by the national and provincial departments when preventing civil servants from unlawfully and fraudulently applying for and receiving social grants.

Minister of Social Development Lindiwe Zulu revealed this when responding to parliamentary questions from DA MP Mimmy Gondwe, who asked if the agency was planning to introduce measures other than the access to Persal.

In May, the minister said in another response to Gondwe that the office of the Auditor-General found 241 civil servants who pocketed the special R350 grants when she audited the Covid-19 relief funds.

In her written responses, Zulu said Sassa has included in its 2021/22 operational plan a target to interface with the UIF, GEPF, NSFAS and the Department of Correctional Services.

She said Sassa has commenced discussions with the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs regarding access to data of municipal employees.

Zulu stated that the process to formalise the memorandum of agreement and interface guidelines with UIF and GEPF has started and will be finished by the end of June.

The agreement with NSFAS and the Department of Correctional Services would be finalised by the end of September, she said.

The agreement with the Department of Cooperative Governance was concluded in May 2021.

Political Bureau

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