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Fraudulent Use of an R350 Grant: SA Health Department Employees Profited From Relief Monies

SASSA SRD Status Check Updated August 2022

More than 1 700 officials work for provincial health departments across the nation out of the more than 5000 government employees who unlawfully earned the R350 special social assistance award.

986 employees of the provincial health department in the Eastern Cape alone submitted false claims for the R350 award.

This was revealed in the social development minister’s response to DA MP Mimmy Gondwe’s written parliamentary inquiry, which sought information on the government’s efforts to recover the R5.8 million it spent on the handouts.

Zulu said that every effort had been taken to guarantee that employees of the SA Social Security Agency were reimbursed for their benefits (SASSA).

“Since the loss recovery procedure proceeds concurrently with the criminal prosecution proceedings in accordance with Section 300 of the Criminal Procedure Act, it is impossible to specify a timeframe for when recovery will be effected.

The loss recovery procedures will develop as and when the National Prosecution Authority [NPA] begins prosecution on specific instances “She spoke.

According to what she said, “SASSA is undertaking simultaneous criminal and civil action proceedings to make sure that no government official avoids repaying SASSA.”

The majority of public employees who improperly benefited from the funds are employed by provincial health ministries.

The figures Zulu supplied do not indicate whether the officials work for hospitals, clinics, or the management of the various ministries.

221 provincial health department employees in KwaZulu-Natal and 172 employees in the Western Cape unlawfully benefited from the R350 award.

129 North West authorities were awarded the funding.

113 employees of the Gauteng health department received an R350 grant, while 103 employees of the Mpumalanga health department got away with it.

40 Department of Correctional Services employees at the federal level of government falsely accepted the funding.

5 812 government employees fraudulently obtained the award of R5.8 million in May 2020.

There are just 242 instances under investigation.

Only 198 of the 242 employees were discovered to be government employees by the department during the screening procedure.

A senior government employee who illegally received the R350 social relief of distress award while earning a salary of well over R1 million yearly has still not been reported by SASSA, according to a News24 article from earlier this month.

It was revealed last month that the government was disbursing social payments to select employees despite the fact that SASSA lacked “the correct information on the job type” of some beneficiaries.

More than 177 000 state employees were halted from receiving social handouts from SASSA in September 2021, although payments resumed the next month.

On “the job nature” of the beneficiaries of the reinstatement, SASSA does not, however, have specific information.

Employees of the federal, state, and local governments have received 177 108 social awards by July 2021, excluding social assistance payments.

Zulu said that 20 representatives from the NPA, Financial Intelligence Centre, police, Department of Public Service and Administration, and SASSA are members of a multi-party panel set up to look into the payments.

The lowest post is manager or deputy-director, and each organization is overseen by a senior official at the level of chief director or general manager, she said.

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