Sassa failed to deliver food relief during COVID-19: Public Protector

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane says an investigation into Sassa found undue delay in awarding new contracts for the distribution of food parcels.

A South African Social Security Agency office in Pretoria. Picture: Kayleen Morgan/Eyewitness News

JOHANNESBURG - Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has said an investigation into the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) has found that there was undue delay in awarding new contracts for the distribution of food parcels in a number of provinces at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read: Sassa has paid R350 grant to 5.6 million applicants since

She gave an update on a number of investigations that found maladministration in entities like Sassa.

The investigation was prompted by a complaint lodged in July 2020 by Advocate Paul Hoffman of the Institute for Accountability in Southern Africa.

HUGE STOCKPILES OF FOOD

In her final report, Mkhwebane said appointed service providers were stuck with huge stockpiles of food in warehouses, due to the uncertainty about the extension of their contracts to provide food parcels.

She said Sassa failed to deliver services and relief as many households were left without food parcels during a critical time during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mkhwebane also investigated whether Western Cape Premier Alan Winde failed to act on the allegations of improper conduct by MEC Anton Bredell, which were brought to his attention.

She found that the allegation that Winde failed to act on the allegations against the MEC was not substantiated.

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