R150m saved from bogus grant recipients

Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini says over 110,000 people were receiving grants illegally.

Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini. Picture: Catherine Rice/EWN

PRETORIA - The Social Development Department said the reregistration of grant beneficiaries already resulted in a saving of more than R150 million.

Speaking in Pretoria earlier on Tuesday, department officials announced that the registration deadline would be extended by one month until the end of April.

The department spent the last year reregistering people with the Social Security Agency of South Africa (SSASA), using an upgraded, secure biometric system.

Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini said the implementation of the new system already eliminated bogus recipients.

"Over 110,000 grants have been cancelled. The estimated value of the [grants that were stopped] is R150 million."

Dlamini said more than 19 million recipients already reregistered, out of a targeted 21 million.

The minister said if beneficiaries do not complete the process by the end of April, they will be removed from the system.

Meanwhile, chaos reportedly erupted at Maponya Mall in Soweto where hundreds of people queued to get their children reregistered for grants.

Grandparents and mothers said they had been waiting in the queue since 5am to get fingerprints registered.

But many said they were turned away because SSASA officials did not seem to be coping.

Ezekiel Mtshali, 70, said he had to wait in the queue for two days to get assisted.

"We cannot queue like this, it's like the old days of apartheid."