WATCH | Criminals flash stolen Sassa cards and money
Sassa, the Social Security Agency, says it is "extremely worried" after a video of alleged criminals boasting with stolen Sassa cards and money went viral.
A video shows a group of people counting about 500 Sassa cards.
It seems that the cards were used by the criminals to get social grant money.
Sassa spokesperson Paseka Letsatsi said the matter was under investigation and progress was being made in verifying the authenticity of the claims, as well as the possible perpetrators.
"There has not been any untoward increase in the monthly value of the grants paid, which raises suspicion that these allegations may not be genuine.
"The systems used by both Sassa and Sapo [South African Post Office] have been developed to protect social grant beneficiaries," Letsatsi said.
He said each card received a value only once grant administration has been done by them and confirmation that the beneficiary did qualify for the social grant was provided.
Letsatsi said the cards must be linked to a beneficiary to be able to receive any grant money.
"There is no card that is produced that has value which does not come through the Sassa system payment file. In the event of card fraud, the genuine beneficiary is reimbursed by Sassa for any loss once this has been confirmed through an investigation," he said.
To report card fraud, the beneficiary must take their ID documents to the post office where they would be helped to complete an affidavit.
"There is no beneficiary who will not receive a grant they are entitled to, due to a fraud they didn't partake in. The payment will be backdated to the month the error or fraudulent transaction occurred," he said.
A number of arrests had been made in the past for Sassa fraud.
Sassa acting CEO Abraham Mahlangu said there would be no leniency shown to anyone who preys on social grant beneficiaries, regardless of the value of the transgression.
"We cannot be distracted by criminals on the noble achievement of ensuring that poor people are paid through a legitimate contract between the two organs of state, namely Sassa and Sapo.
"Government will always prevail and ensure that beneficiaries continue to receive their grants at the right time and place," Mahlangu said.