CAPE TOWN - The South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) in the Western Cape has urged grant recipients to be cautious after receiving multiple reports about scammers targeting beneficiaries.
Director of marketing and communications for Sassa in the province, Shivani Wahab, said multiple reports of fraudulent practices unfolding across the province had been received.
“Unscrupulous scammers, posing as representatives of non-profit organisations, are luring social grant applicants to their ’offices’, under the pretext of assisting the public with online social grant applications, while charging a fee for this illegal service.
“While clients have the option of applying for social grants online, Sassa has no formal partnership with any external/private organisation or any individual to assist with the social grant online application process.
“However, should a client choose to utilise an internet café for the online application process, applicable service fees charged by the internet café will be applicable. Sassa has no control over linked charges thereof,” Wahab said.
She said the Covid-19 pandemic had dictated a new way of conducting business and in 2020, Sassa launched an online application system for social grants as an alternative for the public without having to physically access any of its offices.
This system was implemented to improve service delivery, efficiencies and to empower clients. It significantly reduces time spent at Sassa offices and thus minimises high influxes and long queues at offices, Wahab said.
“The agency has been a prime target for fraudsters throughout the years. We would like to reassure the public that swift action will be taken against any organisation/individuals involved in any illegal practice.
“A zero tolerance approach is exercised by Sassa to combat fraud and corruption,” she said.
Residents who suspect any fraudulent activities are urged to immediately report this via the Sassa Anti-Corruption Hotline on 0800 701 701 or via the Sassa Toll Free Number on 0800 60 10 11.