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Sassa loses R800m to corruption

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The South African Social Services Agency (Sassa) has lost an estimated R800-million to corrupt practices in the entity and, of that amount, just R1,5-million has been recovered.
Sassa briefed the Standing Committee on Community Development in the Western Cape Provincial Parliament (WCPP) this week, and revealed that, between April 2015 and March 2016, a total of 18 807 disputes had been logged with Sassa.
In April 2016 alone, a total of 1 846 disputes were logged with Sassa in the Western Cape, and it seems that beneficiaries cannot rely on the Dispute Resolution Mechanisms (DRM), which are meant to resolve cases of beneficiary exploitation.
It was revealed that beneficiaries received falsified Sassa forms that were used by insurance brokers to fraudulently take out insurance on behalf of beneficiaries. It also emerged from the briefing that third parties are obtaining confidential details of beneficiaries from FICA and not necessarily from Sassa.
Sassa informed the committee of new regulations that will be initiated in an effort to with fraudulent deductions. These include:
* 24-hour, seven days a week, toll free number, including calls from cell phones;
* No funeral insurance deductions from children’s and temporary grants allowed;
* Beneficiaries to submit written consent for deductions;
* Onsite Commissioner of Oaths to process affidavits; and
* Retraining of Sassa staff on implementation of DRM.