13 June 2018

South Africa: Sassa Thwarts 4,000 Fraudulent Social Grant Payments During Switchover


There are bound to be glitches and snafus during the massive migration of the payment of social grants to some 17 million beneficiaries from CPS/Net1 through SAPO and other banking infrastructure by September 2018. Eternal vigilance will have to be the watchword. In May, a suspected attempted fraud involving 4,000 names on the Sassa database was thwarted when Sassa internal controls red-flagged the suspicious activity.

On 30 May, Sassa officials uncovered that 4,000 fraudulent payments were processed with files for the 31 May payout of social grants. The following day the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) wrote to Sassa with regard to "Payment Association of South Africa incident no 2018/2356", as it described the fraud, confirming that SARB was awaiting a full report with regards to the breach.

"We also would like to acknowledge the impact on the industry has had (sic). We will ensure that the industry receives an update on the matter as we are prioritising the closure on our end," wrote SARB's Nomwelase Skenjana.

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