The Inkatha Freedom Party is deeply concerned about the on going reports of fraud and corruption in the administration of social grants.

“The recent suspension of staff at the Umfolozi social welfare office is yet another example of challenges being faced by the Department of Social Development.

Even though the Department had not so long ago embarked on a very costly and elaborate process of social grant verification and the issuing of new grant cards, it has failed to halt the scourge of corrupt practices. This is causing the state to lose huge amounts of money and could lead to the collapse of the social assistance programme. Many of our people depend on state grants to survive and such disruption of services will lead to uncertainty and frustration,” said IFP KZN Provincial Spokesperson on Social Development, Mrs Ncamisile Nkwanyana, MPL.

“With regard to the Umfolozi social welfare office, it is important for the Department to investigate the claims by the 35 suspended staff members as swiftly as possible so as to restore service delivery to the people of the area. The MEC for social development, Weziwe Thusi must ensure that claims of abusive behaviour on the part of the acting manager are taken as seriously as the claims of fraud on the part of the 35 suspended staff,” continued Mrs Nkwanyana.

“We cannot have state coffers being looted by undeserving grant recipients while those who are most deserving are being disadvantaged. While these investigations go on, it is the community that suffer due to a lack of services. The Umfolozi social welfare office needs to be fully functional as a matter of urgency,” concluded Mrs Nkwanyana.