Sassa accused of dragging feet in dealing with illegal deductions

More than 18,000 complaints of unauthorised deductions have been reported in the past year.

Picture: ‏@OfficialSASSA.

CAPE TOWN - Western Cape Provincial Legislature members have lambasted South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) officials for taking too long to address illegal social grant deductions.

Sassa and Social Development Department officials yesterday briefed the Standing Committee on Social Development about illegal and fraudulent deductions.

They revealed more than 18,000 complaints of unauthorised deductions have been reported in the past year.

An African National Congress (ANC) Member of Provincial Legislature (MPL) told Sassa officials it's not enough to simply say there are challenges, when they are not being dealt with.

"It is a mess that our own people are faced with everywhere. Sassa staff members were mostly not assisting the community."

The Democratic Alliance (DA)'s Maria Mireille Wenger also raised concerns about Sassa's complaints of resolution mechanisms, which appear to be failing.

"Reading these cases here, it is a case of back and forth and up and down at the expense of the beneficiary. One wants to cry out in frustration reading these accounts."

Social Development Director-General Thokozani Magwaza says work is being done to ensure the challenges are being addressed.