Sassa still has questionable beneficiaries on its system - AG Maluleke

Auditor-General Tsakani Maluleke on Wednesday delivered the second COVID-19 relief fund audit report.

FILE: Auditor-General Tsakani Maluleke on 9 December 2020 delivered the second COVID-19 relief fund audit report in Pretoria. Picture: @SAgovnews/Twitter.

JOHANNESBURG – Auditor-General (AG) Tsakani Maluleke on Wednesday said that the South African Social Security Agency’s (Sassa) project to improve beneficiary validation had not yield any improved results, with some questionable beneficiaries still being paid.

Maluleka delivered her first report on Wednesday as she succeeded the late AG Kimi Makwetu. She delivered the second COVID-19 relief fund audit report.

She said that government could have reached more people with the funds made available for the COVID-19 pandemic if there were better controls in government.

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When Makwetu delivered his findings in September, he said that they found that people who had died and those who were behind bars were somehow also receiving grants.

Government promised to tighten controls and validate each beneficiary. But now Maluleka said that not much had changed.

“They’ve also gone about to ensure that they're investigating the things we raised. Whether it’s people who are employed elsewhere or are getting government contracts, we still see that over 1,500 claimants of Sassa grants happen to be directors of companies that benefit from state contracts.”

But she said that parts of the system had been improved.

According to Sassa, all the flagged beneficiaries were currently being investigated and there were plans being made for the appropriate debt recovery process.

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