Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu announced in a parliamentary reply on Tuesday that about 20,787 fraud cases were registered at the Post Office by June 28 this year. Furthermore, it has also been revealed that 12 432 pensioners as well as other beneficiaries have been deceived in the past year from their social grants, collectively more than R21 million.
Liezl van der Merwe, IFP MP, wanted to know from Zulu how many fraudulent pensioners and other beneficiaries had reported to the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) over the past 12 months, whether it was resolved and whether the stolen money was recovered . To which Zulu replied that criminal investigations are currently pending and that the money was never recovered.
Van der Merwe also wanted to know what Sassa is doing to stop corruption and fraudulent transactions with Sassa cards. Zulu replied that the beneficiaries report fraud with their social grants at their nearest Sassa office or at the Post Office, which will investigate and reimburse the beneficiary thereafter. She goes on to say, however, that the Post Office is constantly working to prevent fraud by improving their system control, such as introducing the biometric registration of all new beneficiaries.
She says the Post Office has also implemented an automated card management system that enables them to track each Sassa card from the point of receipt at their head office to the individual beneficiaries.
Due to major delays in fraud investigations, the Post Office, Zulu said, agreed to reimburse beneficiaries who reported fraud and submitted all relevant documents within 14 days and would occur when a backlog was made, which arose before systems were properly implemented.