Sassa accused of opening itself up to fraud

PRETORIA - The South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) is being accused of issuing an unlawful instruction opening it up to fraud.

READPost Office ready for Sassa payments: ministers

On 21 August, a circular was sent to Sassa staff advising them that biometric verification can be bypassed and that authorisation for this has been approved and is, in fact, lawful.

It states that bypassing authorization has been given and that the employee must type “yes” in responding to biometric questions including that fingerprints were taken.

It also states that Sassa believes this deviation is a “fair” and “lawful instruction”.

The Public Servants Association (PSA) said it is not so and believes that at the heart of this instruction lies the Cash Paymaster Services.

Tahir Maepa, the PSA general manager said, “They are creating another crisis because now they are sitting with hundreds of backlog of applications that are incomplete. To catch up with that backlog is going to take months. That in itself is the justification for them to say that we need CPS for us to proceed with grant disbursement.”

READ: Sassa, former acting CEO to pay court costs over CPS contract

Maepa said their members who work for Sassa have little option but to carry out the instructions of management for the moment.

Sassa acting-CEO, Abraham Mahlangu explained, “Operational instructions change because of operational circumstances in business. So as long as it is a means that is documented that you can do this or that. By law, you can use an ID document to get the grant recipient for receiving grants or by biometric authentication. So for me, that is not a bypassing of anything.”

The Democratic Alliance says, in their view, the instruction is indeed unlawful.

The PSA said it is going to be going to court to challenge what it deems an unlawful instruction and will also be informing the Constitutional Court of this recent deviation