social grants

Govt Tackles Social Grants Fraud and Corruption

The Department of Social Development says that the government has stepped up efforts to stamp out fraud and corruption within its social security system.

Social Development Minister, Bathabile Dlamini, says the state provides social grants – through the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) - to over 15 million beneficiaries, with a total budget of R105 billion.

Dlamini states that, "SASSA has intensified mechanisms to reduce fraud and corruption within the social security system."

Beneficiaries Misuse Social Grants – Report

The Department of Social Development says that beneficiaries are misusing social grants by paying for hairdresser appointments and buying beauty products.

In its latest report, ‘Child Support Grant Evaluation released by Social Development’, the department notes that the number of people receiving grants is over 12 million, costing R105 billion for the year.

The report found examples of misuse of grants, bribery and attempts to mislead or deceive officials in order to get grants. Other problems include isolated incidents of corruption and bribery by officials themselves.

Social Grants Boosts Local Businesses

According to Khulekani Magubane, social grants paid by the state are helping retailers in township shopping centres weather tough economic conditions.

In this article titled ‘Social grants benefit retailers in township malls’, Magubane states that shopping centres in Diepsloot and Tembisa are consistently productive despite harsh economic condition because community members spend the social grant money.

Concern Over Grants Registration Plan

NGOs and advocacy groups are concerned about the Department of Social Development’s announcement that more than 15 million people will have to re-register for social grants in the next year.

But Leonie Caroline, the Western Cape provincial director of the Black Sash, says that, “What the department is proposing is a massive bureaucratic undertaking,” she said. “We feel some people could fall through the cracks.”

Social Grants Recipients to Increase – Gordhan

Finance Minister, Pravin Gordhan, says the number of South Africans receiving social grants will swell to 16.7 million over the next three years.

Tabling the 2012/13 Budget in Parliament, Gordhan stated that by the end of 2011, nearly 15.3 million people were eligible for social grants, compared to 2.5 million in 1998.

He said despite the rapid growth in the number of beneficiaries, however, spending on social grants will decline as a percentage of GDP -- from 3.5 percent in 2011/12, to 3.2 percent by 2014/15.

Plan to Take Over Grants Payments

The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) is gearing itself to take over the payment of social grants when the five-year contract worth R10 billion it awarded to a security company expires in 2017.

SASSA CEO, Virginia Petersen, says the agency has started the research and design of a new model for paying social grants.

Petersen argues that a key feature of the new model would be the range of options from which beneficiaries can choose how they would like to receive their payments.

Child Grant Beneficiaries on the Increase

A new study to be published by the South African Institute of Race Relations (SAIRR) next week shows that the number of children receiving social grants has increased 13-fold since 2001.

SAIRR researcher, Lerato Moloi, who states that children on the child support grant account for 70 percent of all people on social welfare, warns that this number will increase by another million by 2013.

The study also shows that beneficiaries have risen from 800 476 in 2001 to 10 387 238 in 2011.

Social Grants Not Sustainable – Zuma

President Jacob Zuma has warned that government cannot afford to ‘indefinitely’ pay social grants to people who are not elderly and who have no physical defects.

Speaking at a business question-and-answer session in Cape Town this week, Zuma also urged the South African taxpayers to focus on developing the country rather than on feeding the poor.

He argued that South Africa had to develop programmes to reach a stage where it reduced the number of people who received social grants and balanced it with those who were taxpayers.

15.2m South Africans Receive Social Grants

The National Treasury says that social welfare grants now support about 15.2 million South Africans.

Tabling its 2011 medium-term budget policy statement in the National Assembly, the department said that, "Social assistance and welfare services are effective redistributive and poverty-reduction measures that have expanded considerably over the past decade."

The document says the social security system needs to become more efficient, ensuring the effective use of funds and providing better services.


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