More than 170 000 government employees are receiving illegal social grants, Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu has revealed in a recent written reply to a parliamentary question.

In the written reply to a parliamentary question from IFP MP Liezl van der Merwe, Zulu said there were 177 108 officials receiving social grants as of the end of July.

Zulu also said 3 400 Social Development Department employees were getting social grants, and another 153 officials from the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) getting grants.

ALSO READ: How to track your R350 SASSA grant application status on Whatsapp

“All social grants received by Sassa employees, except for the foster child grant and the combination grants (a combination of foster child grants and care dependency grants which are not means tested) have been suspended with immediate effect in accordance with Regulation 29(1)(a) of the Social Assistance Act, which allows for suspension without prior notice, in cases of suspected fraud or misrepresentation,” said Zulu.

She furthermore said processes are now underway to determine the amount paid which should not have been paid and the date from which these employees started being employed by Sassa to determine the amount to be recovered.

“In addition, documents are being prepared for disciplinary processes to be implemented.”

ALSO READ: Not sure if you have unclaimed R350 grants? Check here if you have an unclaimed grant

Van der Merwe said she is shocked and dismayed that Government officials are seemingly fleecing State coffers when South Africa is faced with such dire economic circumstances.

“There can be no justification for the payment of these grants unless all of these individuals are collecting a foster care grant, which seems highly improbable.”

She said the IFP, therefore, calls for an immediate freeze on the payout of these grants until a proper investigation is completed.

“If these officials are found to have collected grants unlawfully, they must pay back the money and face the full might of the law.

“It is clear heads must roll, including that of the Minister of Social Development.”

ALSO READ: WhatsApp applications OPEN for Covid-19 grant – here is number

Tagged in: