Calls to stop dodgy social grant deductions

Social Development MEC Albert Fritz has reiterated his call on the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) to stop unauthorised deductions from social grant beneficiaries.

A public meeting was held on Tuesday February 16, at the Kraaifontein Youth Centre, in which Sassa officials, including regional head, Dr Waldie Terblanche, were confronted by just under 200 residents.

“The overwhelming number of complaints from the community related to illegal and unauthorised grant deductions. People complained of having funds missing from their grants, listed as either ‘airtime’, ‘electricity vouchers’ or ‘policies’, which they never signed-up for nor do they receive the benefits of,” said Mr Fritz in a statement.

He called on Sassa to act on complaints they received from residents, and said the department would continue to attend public meetings to play an oversight role over Sassa.

“We continue to call on the public to be vigilant, and for them to not give out their account pin numbers and details,” Mr Fritz said.

He said he had written to the national Minister of Social Development, Bathabile Dlamini, requesting urgent action to stop the illegal deductions experienced by social grant recipients.

Western Cape residents continued to fall victim to illegal and unauthorised deductions from their social grants. Sassa itself said it had received more than 2 000 complaints in February alone, the statement from Mr Fritz said, while the DSD had no operational control over Sassa, it had assisted with 626 cases since 2010, Mr Fritz said.

“Social grant recipients are the poorest of the poor, and are people from the most vulnerable segments of our society.

“To have any money missing from their grants has serious implications for their day-to-day basic needs, such as food.”