The South Africa Social Security Agency (SASSA) has distanced itself from a fake news article doing the rounds on social media, claiming that SASSA accidentally paid grants to 17 000 illegal immigrants from Zimbabwe.
“SASSA wishes to distance itself from this xenophobic article, which attempts to confuse the public and undermine government efforts to continue providing a buffer against the levels of poverty in the country through the provision of social security,” said SASSA Acting CEO Abraham Mahlangu.
The false article from a questionable fake news website is incorrectly attributed to SASSA spokesperson, Paseka Letsatsi.
According to Mahlangu, this is not the first time that saboteurs have targeted SASSA misleading reports.
“It seems that someone with malicious intent is deliberately trying to stir the public's emotions and confuse grant beneficiaries. What is more disturbing is that this faceless person is trying to promote xenophobic attitudes and drive a wedge among the diverse inhabitants of South Africa,” Mahlangu said.
A concerned Mahlangu said the fake news comes on the back of a situation where some beneficiaries are struggling to withdraw their grants as a result of a technical glitch that has since been resolved.
He said SASSA remains steadfast in pursuing its mandate of distributing social grants.
“We won't be distracted by low lives who don't have the interest of our beneficiaries at heart.
“We are confident that the public won't be swayed by such people who seek to undermine its intelligence. The social grant system is stabilised at the moment and going forward, we will eliminate any possibility of technical problems on our system.”
Mahlangu said SASSA will pursue the legal route to ensure that those behind the fake news are brought to book.
SASSA, NEHAWU resolve outstanding labour relations issues
Meanwhile, Mahlangu reported that Social Development Minister Susan Shabangu and the National Health Education and Allied Workers Union (NEHAWU) held successful discussions on Tuesday to normalise relations between SASSA and the union.
“A joint statement was issued and a road map to resolve outstanding labour relations issues was agreed upon. This show of leadership by the Minister will go a long way in ensuring that workers perform their duties in a conducive environment.”
Beneficiaries who experience any problems with their grants should call 0800 60 10 11 or inbox SASSA on social media if they are unable to visit its offices. They can also email firstname.lastname@example.org. – SAnews.gov.za