SASSA Blocked 74000 Deceased Fraud Accounts in January 2024

The South African Social Security Agency, SASSA blocked 74,000 deceased fraud accounts in January 2024, addressing the concerns raised by a report claiming that over 74,000 deceased recipients were wrongly paid. Minister Lindiwe Zulu clarified that most cases were not due to corruption but resulted from delays in reporting deaths by family members. This is the most dramatic discovery after failed SASSA grants in January when millions of beneficiaries were not paid due to system verification.

SASSA Blocked 74000 Deceased Fraud Accounts in January 2024

In January 2024, SASSA took decisive action, blocking 74,000 deceased fraud accounts through enhanced verification processes. The agency initiated monthly automated checks with the Department of Home Affairs in late 2023, supplementing the existing SASSA Means Test. From now on there will be a thorough investigation involving comparing beneficiary accounts with the Department of Home Affairs every 22nd and 23rd of the month to confirm their SASSA status as alive or deceased.

Any identified deceased beneficiaries are promptly deactivated on the SASSA system before monthly payment dates. This significant move became evident as it addressed a concerning issue where 74,000 deaths were not being verified, leading to monthly payments being wrongfully released without proper confirmation. This lack of verification was a contributing factor to SASSA’s challenges in processing January grant payments. As a response, we reported on SASSA extracting double payments for affected clients with the February grant payment dates.

DHA and DSD Proactive Measures Against Deceased SASSA Beneficiaries

In the past three years, an alarming 74,000 beneficiaries have been reported deceased, averaging approximately 2,055 per month among the 18 million clients receiving monthly payments from SASSA. To recognise the gravity of this situation, the Department of Social Development (DSD) addressed the SASSA’s Head Office to collaborate as a joint government initiative to enhance verification systems in partnership with the Department of Home Affairs, aiming to prevent fraud and corruption in the future.

With a newfound emphasis on a reactive fraud-prevention strategy aligned with the National Anti-Corruption Strategy, SASSA is actively implementing measures such as regular awareness campaigns. This stance is crucial in light of the national agency’s past experiences and signals a commitment to ensuring that social relief grants reach deserving individuals, particularly effective from the coming months’ scheduled February and SASSA March Payment Dates.

SASSA Stand Against Corruption in 2024

In a recent conversation with Paseka Letsatsi, SASSA Spokesperson contactable at 082 883 9969, it was revealed that SASSA become more vigilant in 2024. Now on the agency aims to conduct periodic face-to-face reviews with beneficiaries throughout the year. This heightened scrutiny is a proactive measure to prevent government funds from being erroneously granted to reported deceased beneficiaries, highlighting the agency’s commitment to accountability and fraud prevention.

We have been formally observing SASSA become more assertive, and there is a clear message that corruption within SASSA over the past three years will not be tolerated in the new year of 2024. The fraud and compliance units, in close collaboration with the Department of Home Affairs, it is time to take proactive steps to address those who have wrongly received SASSA grants and combat the daily occurrence of fraud and scams.

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