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SASSA warns fraudsters

Written by Albert Pule
In recent months, beneficiaries have complained about an increase in the number of deductions made against their monthly social grant payments without their knowledge.

To deal with this the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) is conducting a national campaign to educate beneficiaries affected by unauthorised and illegal deductions.

The campaign aims to educate beneficiaries on how to lodge a dispute or make claims relating to unauthorised deductions through the newly-introduced Dispute Resolution Mechanism (DRM).

In lodging disputes, beneficiaries should write an affidavit explaining that they did not consent to the deduction. The affidavit has to then be signed by a commissioner of oath.

After that, the signed affidavit must be submitted to the nearest SASSA office after which SASSA will verify the authenticity of the affidavit and carry out its own investigation.

The investigation takes about a month and if there is enough evidence that the money was deducted illegally from a beneficiary’s account, it will be paid back in the next pay cycle. During the investigation, beneficiaries are kept updated on the status of the investigation. 

Since the campaign was launched a few months ago, it has been successful and 60 percent of the lodged cases have been resolved.

“The remaining 40 percent of the cases are a bit tricky because in some of those cases, you’ll find that beneficiaries have given consent to the service providers to deduct money from their accounts,” said SASSA spokesman Kgomoco Diseko.

He added that most illegal deductions relate to airtime, insurance policies, electricity and funeral covers.

Through the DRM, beneficiaries also are educated on the illegal issuance of the ‘green card’ purported to substitute the official SASSA card.

In addition, SASSA has been working with financial services partners, such as the Financial Services Board and the National Credit Regulator, to deal with the
problem.  

If your social grant money has been deducted from your account without your consent, go to the nearest SASSA offices to report the matter or call: 0800 60 1011 or 012 400 2322

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