SASSA urged to increase awareness efforts around loan sharks preying on beneficiaries

Issued by Dan Plato MPP – DA Western Cape Spokesperson on Social Development
07 Sep 2022 in Press Statements

Note to Editors: Please find attached a soundbite by Dan Plato MPP.

The DA in the Western Cape calls on SASSA to increase its efforts to educate grant beneficiaries on the pitfalls associated with predatory financial service providers and loan sharks.

Despite encouraging progress on the issue, more can be done to combat the prevalence of beneficiaries being forced to use their SASSA cards as collateral by predatory financial service providers. This practice is not only illegal, but results in grant money lining the pockets of loan sharks instead of going to those who truly need it.

In a briefing to the Standing Committee on Social Development this afternoon, SASSA revealed that it has been working with SAPS to prosecute those who engage in this practice, with a steady decline in the number of cases investigated and prosecuted in the last 10 years. However, it is profoundly concerning that this practice remains so widespread.

Dan Plato MPP said: “While I am pleased to see the progress SASSA has made in combatting the use of grants as collateral in predatory loans, more can be done to educate and make the public aware of the dangers of this practice. We must ensure that grants are allocated and used by their intended beneficiaries to assist and uplift the poorest and the most vulnerable.”