Image via: GCIS
The DA is calling on Lindiwe Zulu to account for hundreds of social grants that were fraudulently received by City of Joburg employees.
Image via: GCIS
The Democratic Alliance (DA) is calling on Minister of Social Development Lindiwe Zulu and SASSA CEO Busisiwe Memela-Khambula to give urgent account, before the parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Social Development, regarding hundreds of City of Joburg employees who fraudulently received social grants.
The City of Joburg, in a statement on Tuesday, announced that, through its Group Forensics and Investigation Services (GFIS), it uncovered over 1 500 employees of the City who fraudulently received the Special COVID-19 social relief of distress and other grants including social, child, military veterans and social pension grants.
GFIS reported that 419 employees of the City benefited from the special COVID-19 social relief of distress grant and that a further 1 129 employees were fraudulently benefiting from other grants unintended for employed persons.
DA Shadow Minister of Social Development Bridget Masango said the party also calls for the dismissal of those found to have received social grants in a fraudulent manner.
“The DA will follow the unfolding investigation closely and will request the full report once it has been finalised,” said Masango.
“In a time when true SASSA beneficiaries have been struggling to get payment and assistance from the Agency and have been left vulnerable to hunger and disease, City of Johannesburg employees stole from those they’re mandated to serve,” said Masango.
“They sought to enrich themselves at the expense of the poorest in society and did not think twice about the effect their actions would have on millions of desperate South Africans. For their deplorable and criminal actions, they should be dismissed as well as face the full extent of the law,” she added.
Masango said it’s time that the track records of those in charge of vulnerable citizens be carefully examined and that the responsibility fall to someone capable and caring.
Following the devastating news about the social grants, Executive Mayor of Joburg Geoffrey Makhubo said the City has committed itself to instilling the values of accountability and transparency across the city and at all levels.
“From the onset, we made a commitment to deal with fraud and corruption across the city and to ensure there are consequences for wrong-doing,” he said.
“We have directed labor relations in the City to initiate disciplinary proceedings against those affected and have advised GFIS to share the outcome of the investigations with the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) and South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) for further action which may include criminal prosecution,” added Makhubo.