The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) believes that it is time for the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) to come clean and tell the public about the plans they have in place to prevent the duplication of SASSA grant cards by criminals who are defrauding the state, and depriving indigent people of much-needed funds.
This comes after yet another discovery this week of 52 SASSA cards, 19 bank cards and 130 identity documents during an operation by KZN police at Mondlo, in the Zululand District.
It is evident that there is a ‘special’ modus operandi between some corrupt government officials who appear to be in cahoots with criminals in the duplication of SASSA grant cards. These people are master criminals, and appear to have all the resources to produce duplicate cards.
Serious questions have to be asked: How do these criminals get access to the machines that produce these duplicate cards? How many people have been defrauded by these criminals? These questions must be answered because it seems that this might be an inside job. This must be cause for concern for the relevant authorities. We implore them to dismantle the nest of criminals who are hellbent on defrauding the poor. The Department of Social Development, together with SASSA, must be relentless in their pursuit of a corruption-free social grant system. There must be no leniency shown to anyone who preys on social grant beneficiaries.
Despite assurances that the gold SASSA-SAPO cards were totally safe – and could not be duplicated – criminals have proven otherwise. Authorities must go back to the drawing board and review their security measures for grant cards, as well as devise new, foolproof security measures.
The IFP calls on the police to ensure that suspects involved in the SASSA cards syndicate are arrested. Further, they should not be granted bail until the big fish behind the duplication of SASSA cards and the squandering of taxpayers’ money is exposed.
Lastly, the IFP would like to propose that SASSA and the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Social Development consider conducting lifestyle audits of all senior employees. Individuals – outside and within government – have been known to siphon money from taxpayers, whilst depriving the poorest of the poor of the support they deserve.
Hon. Les Govender, MPL
IFP KZN Provincial Spokesperson on Social Development
083 974 4894