The South African Social Services Agency (SASSA) has begun the process of suspending social grants, with the exception of foster care payments. Social Development Minister, Lindiwe Zulu says “the public servants would soon have to prove they were eligible for the grants”.
All grants to be investigated except for the foster child grant
Zulu announced this in a Parliamentary response to a question from DA MP, DR Mimmy Gondwe. Gondwe has 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)”. The grants 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.
Zulu added by saying that it should be noted that all social grants are means-tested, except for 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 grants,” she said.
Those who still qualify would have to prove it
The Minister said that ever since the information had been extracted, arrangements had been put in place to suspend the grants for all public servants.
Those who still qualify, however, would have to come in and review the grant. They would then need to provide current information on their income in order 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.
Media Statement: SASSA investigating 177 000 public servants receiving social grants