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Sassa’s inability to recoup money ‘concerning’

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The inability of the SA Social Security Agency (Sassa) to recover money owed to it by fraudsters is concerning, Parliament’s portfolio committee on social development said on Tuesday.

“This is an area that Sassa and the national department need to improve on. It is an intolerable situation that money that should be going to poor people ends up in wrong hands,” committee chairperson Zoleka Capa said in a statement.

Sassa in Kimberley told the committee that more than R9m had been stolen and was owed to the agency, but only R500 000 had been recouped.

It also revealed that there were more than 200 fraud and corruption cases against officials dating back to 2012, and none of them had been closed.

Capa said suspensions were another area of concern as that impacted on service delivery while officials sat at home and received their salaries.

“This suspension of senior staff means the government cannot fill the positions; while someone is being paid for work that is not being done, and that could only mean a stalled service provision,” she said.

“People are getting paid while poor people suffer. The committee does not agree with this, however, it accepts that there are procedural processes involved.”

The committee was on a week-long visit to the Northern Cape. News24

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