Persisting SASSA payment fraud harming SA’s most vulnerable

Issued by Bridget Masango MP – DA Shadow Minister of Social Development
17 Jan 2024 in News

Note to editors: Please find attached soundbites in English and isiZulu by Bridget Masango MP

The DA has received many complaints similar to those received by #PayTheGrants from beneficiaries of the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) R350 Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grant. While the DA always assists the SASSA beneficiaries that reach out to us by reporting the issue and ensuring that the complainant is assisted, we have found that almost soon as the information is corrected, phone numbers are changed again – pointing to an internal scheme to defraud these vulnerable beneficiaries.

The DA has also received numerous complaints from beneficiaries of various SASSA grants regarding the fraudulent use of their ID numbers and SASSA’s inability to ensure that beneficiaries aren’t defrauded.

Yesterday, the DA visited an old age grant recipient in Eldorado Park in Gauteng who has been struggling to get her grant payments since June last year. Feedback from SASSA indicates that her ID number is shared by a new recipient in the Eastern Cape. Despite her numerous attempts to solve her dire situation, the beneficiary’s grant has still not been restored, and every month she and her family has to battle to put food on their table. While Minister Zulu no doubt spent her festive season in luxury, this beneficiary’s Christmas was marked by hunger, fear, and desperation.

The DA will reach out to SASSA and the Department of Social Development (DSD) in order to assist this woman, as well as the many other vulnerable social grant recipients that reach out to us.

We will also submit written parliamentary questions to Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu to determine the number of complaints received regarding duplicate ID numbers, as well as the mechanisms in place to combat fraud at DSD and SASSA.

Given the latest payment glitch that left more than 150 000 SASSA beneficiaries without their grants this month, the fact that 39 645 public servants fraudulently received social grants, the more than R141 million paid to deceased beneficiaries the past 3 years, as well as the various allegations against Minister Zulu and her acting director-general Linton Mchunu, it is clear that not only does the Minister not have the best interest of vulnerable South Africans at heart, she is also unable or unwilling to deal with the fraud, corruption and ineptitude within her Department.

President Cyril Ramaphosa should have fired Minister Zulu a long time ago. Her continued presence in his Cabinet is an insult to the millions of vulnerable South Africans she’s continuously let down since her appointment as Minister of Social Development.

Be part of the mission to rescue South Africa, get help registering to vote at