Eleven beneficiaries and three personnel of the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) Disability Grants, are in police net for fraud.
The suspect, all from Tzaneen Local Area, Limpopo, were alleged to have paid R3500 to SASSA officials, who in turn captured their personal and banking details as qualifying beneficiaries without any medical report of disability.
Our Correspondent learnt that the suspects were arrested following a collaboration between the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA), the Department of Social Development and the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks).
According to Zodwa Mvulane, SASSA Limpopo Regional Executive Manager, “We at SASSA have zero tolerance to fraud and corruption. We are currently working to eliminate fraud and corruption linked to disability grants.
“At the end of December 2020, SASSA suspended a total of 210 778 Temporary Disability Grants nationally, as the extended period for which they were awarded had expired. The cost of continuing to pay these grants for the period from February to December 2020 totalled in excess of R1, 5 billion.”
Security Watch Africa reports that a disability grant may be awarded as either a permanent grant, which may or may not be subject to a medical review after a certain period of time.
Permanent disability grants are awarded for conditions which impact on the applicant’s ability to work for a period longer than 12 months, while a temporary disability is awarded for a period of between six and 12 months only.
“If, on lapsing of the temporary grant, the citizen is still unable to be employed as a result of the disability or medical condition, he/she needs to re-apply for the grant. This re-application requires a new medical assessment, which will confirm whether the condition does warrant a grant, ” he said.