SANews
2 minute read
20 Sep 2021
6:30 am

Sassa investigating 177,000 public servants receiving social grants

SANews

Minister Lindiwe Zulu said measures will be taken to recover any funds overpaid. Sassa spent approximately R200 million in July, in paying public servants.

Picture: Flickr/GovernmentZA

The South African Social Services Agency (Sassa) initiated the process to suspend social grants – with the exception of foster care payments – paid to 177 108 public servants.

Sassa investigating social grants

Prove eligibility

Social Development Minister, Lindiwe Zulu said public servants would soon have to prove they were eligible for the payouts.

Zulu made the revelation in a Parliamentary response to a question from Democratic Alliance’s (DA) MP, Dr Mimmy Gondwe.

Gondwe asked for the total number of public service employees who had applied for and received other Sassa administered grants, other than the Social Relief of Distress (SRD).

R200 million paid during July 2021

The payouts included the child support grant, disability grant, and grant for older persons. Gondwe also asked for a breakdown of the specified number, according to each grant administered by Sassa.

“The total amount that Sassa has spent in paying public service employees who applied for and received Sassa administered grants is approximately R200.7 million (paid during July 2021),” said Zulu.

The Minister, however, said it should be noted that all social payouts are means-tested, apart from the foster child grant.

“Public servants are entitled to receive the foster child grant. Where the foster child grant is paid in conjunction with a care dependency grant for the same child, neither are means-tested, and public servants would not be contravening any laws by receiving these payments,” she said.

For the remainder of the grant types, the means test would need to be applied.

Overpaid Sassa funds to be recovered

Zulu said since the information had been extracted, arrangements had been made to suspend the grants, apart from the foster child payments, for all public servants.

Those who still qualify, she said, would have to come in and review the grant, and provide current information on their income to determine whether they still qualify to receive these grants.

“Measures will also be taken to recover any funds overpaid. Where it is found that the public servants were receiving a grant to which they were not entitled, the matter will be reported to their employing department for disciplinary action to be taken,” she said. 

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