South Africa's troubled SA Social Security Agency (Sassa) social grants payments agency was defrauded of over R50 million in just one year, and it had to spend another R18 million on an investigation to recoup some of the money.
This is according to a response by Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu to a written parliamentary question from DA MP Bridget Masango.
Masango wanted details on the close to 20 000 cases of fraud reported to Sassa, the number of cases resolved, total amounts recovered, and if any implicated officials have been suspended or fired.
KwaZulu-Natal recorded the highest number in precautionary and dismissal categories. Overall, the province accounts for 55% which is the highest compared to other regions," read Zulu's answer.
In KwaZulu-Natal, 111 officials were suspended, and 25 were dismissed.
The Northern Cape and Western Cape recorded the lowest cases.
Social grants are also paid to citizens living in neighbouring countries.
Zulu confirmed this last month when she revealed Sassa pays social grants to 579 citizens residing in Namibia as part of a 1994 bilateral agreement.
On 19 April 1994, the governments of South Africa and Namibia signed a bilateral agreement which binds South Africa to continue paying social grants to its citizens who lived in Walvis Bay at the time the agreement was signed.
The agreement has no termination date.