Foxes guarding the SASSA henhouse – half a billion rand stolen

Issued by Bridget Masango MP – DA Shadow Minister of Social Development
14 Oct 2022 in News

Note to editors: Please find attach soundbite by Bridget Masango MP.

In answer to a question from the DA, the Minister of Social Development, Lindiwe Zulu, revealed that more than R536 million have been stolen from the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) over the past decade.

Of the 1 174 individuals who illegally benefited from money meant to support South Africa’s poorest and most vulnerable since 2012, 761 were SASSA officials – including 5 doctors in 2015/16.

The past year, while unemployment lines kept growing and many South Africa households reported having only one meal a day, 50 officials looted R23 million from SASSA’s coffers. Yet SASSA’s annual report indicated that only 37 cases were referred to law enforcement agencies for further investigation. The Agency also had irregular expenditure of nearly R994 million in 2021/22.

It seems at SASSA the foxes are guarding the henhouse. While Minister Zulu’s media briefings and speeches are full of promises and platitudes, the poor and vulnerables’ struggles with SASSA continues. They are forced to wait in queues from dawn to dusk only to return home unassisted. They are forced to keep jumping through new hoops every month to receive vital grants. And they are the ones struggling for crumbs while SASSA officials ride the gravy train.

The DA we will continue to lift the lid on the grand theft of monies meant to uplift the dire standard of the poor and vulnerable and if need be, report to relevant government agencies to protect the poor’s lives and livelihoods.