Two officials of the SA Social Security Agency (Sassa) in the Northern Cape have been placed on suspension with full pay in the last five years, while one has been dismissed.
TWO OFFICIALS of the SA Social Security Agency (Sassa) in the Northern Cape have been placed on suspension with full pay in the last five years, while one has been dismissed.
This was revealed by Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu who stated that nationally the agency had lost more than R282 million through fraud in the last five years.
According to Zulu, nationally a total of 182 officials were placed on suspension and 76 others were dismissed on charges of fraud during the same period.
She revealed this in writing when responding to parliamentary questions from EFF MP Laetitia Arries, who asked about the number of officials who defrauded Sassa and the amount involved in the last five financial years.
Arries also asked about measures put in place to prevent fraud in the agency.
In her written response, Zulu said: “The total amount of money lost through fraud over the past five years is approximately R282 476 193.”
She said a total of 156 officials were placed on precautionary suspension, 26 were suspended without pay and 76 were dismissed upon facing charges of fraud.
The minister also said a total of 258 fraud cases were recorded during the period in all the regions.
“KwaZulu-Natal recorded the highest numbers in precautionary and dismissal categories. Overall KwaZulu-Natal accounts 55% which is the highest compared to other regions,” Zulu said.
Her responses showed that KwaZulu-Natal recorded 111 officials on precautionary suspensions, seven officials were suspended without pay and 25 others were dismissed.
The Eastern Cape had placed 17 of its officials on precautionary suspension and 16 were dismissed.
There were seven employees on precautionary suspension in Mpumalanga with eight on suspension without pay and two dismissed.
A breakdown in terms of other provinces showed that Free State recorded two officials on suspension with precaution, Gauteng five, Limpopo three, North West six, Northern Cape none and Western Cape five.
In terms of suspension without pay, there were three in the Free State, one in Gauteng, five in Limpopo, two in the Northern Cape and none in North West and Western Cape.
The officials dismissed were four each in Free State and Gauteng, 16 in Limpopo, seven in North West, and one each in the Northern Cape and Western Cape.
There were no fraud cases that were reported at the Sassa head offices.
Zulu was particularly pleased with the 41 dismissals in both the Eastern Cape and Limpopo.
“It is pleasing to note the firm stance taken by both regions to ensure behavioural change when it comes to fraud,” she said.
Zulu said Sassa has a fraud prevention strategy which has pillars on prevention, detection, investigation and resolution.
She also said the agency conducted fraud and corruption awareness sessions and training for its staff and the public, among other things.
“Line managers also share information on fraud prevention with employees under their supervision.”
The minister said pro-action fraud detection reviews utilising data analytics were conducted regularly within the business units with high risks of fraud and error based on historic instances.
“This acts as an important mechanism in the detection of incidents of fraud and corruption. A critical component of detecting fraud is mutual sharing of data between Sassa, the South African Post Office and other entities.”