PRETORIA – The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) has clarified that the recently reported 74,000 deceased grant recipients were not all “ghost accounts” due to corruption.
SASSA spokesperson said the majority of premature payments made to deceased beneficiaries is due timing issues between when a death gets reported versus when SASSA extracts monthly payments.
SASSA does regular checks with Home Affairs to identify deceased recipients. If found dead, their grant is deactivated before extractions on the 22nd/23rd each month. However, if a death gets reported late, either to Home Affairs or by family to SASSA, some payments may unintentionally go out.
The 74,000 deceased over 3 years reflects 2,055 clients dying monthly – just 0.01% of SASSA’s monthly beneficiaries. Late death registration is beyond SASSA’s control.
SASSA also periodically reviews beneficiary details in-person to confirm eligibility. Deceased persons obviously can’t present themselves. This further safeguard the system.
While aware of some corruption, SASSA has fraud prevention and awareness initiatives, plus works closely with law enforcement, to curb grant abuse. Connection of SASSA-Home Affairs systems, now in progress, will further enhance control and oversight.
SASSA emphasized the importance of promptly reporting deaths and reaffirmed their commitment to payment integrity for legitimate social grant beneficiaries.