Over 1 500 City of Joburg employees ‘fraudulently’ receive social grants

The City of Johannesburg, through its Group Forensics and Investigation Services (GFIS), has uncovered over 1 500 employees of the City who fraudulently received the Special COVID-19 social relief of distress and other grants including social, child, military veterans and social pension grants.

FRAUDULENTLY BENEFITING FROM SOCIAL GRANTS 

In its investigations, initiated at the instruction of the Executive Mayor Geoffrey Makhubo, GFIS has reported that 419 employees of the City benefited from the special COVID-19 social relief of distress grant and that a further 1 129 employees were fraudulently benefiting from other grants unintended for employed persons.

“As a City, we have committed ourselves to instilling the values of accountability and transparency across the city and at all levels. From the onset, we made a commitment to deal with fraud and corruption across the city and to ensure there are consequences for wrong-doing,” said Makhubo. 

“We have directed labor relations in the City to initiate disciplinary proceedings against those affected and have advised GFIS to share the outcome of the investigations with the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) and South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) for further action which may include criminal prosecution,” added Makhubo.

The City said several other investigations are ongoing but as and when outcomes become available, it will be shared with Council and the public.

“We are intolerant to malfeasance and criminal activity. We stand opposed to any form of corruption and remain committed to dismantle the walls of impunity that were erected under the previous administration in the City, brick by brick. Our fight against corruption is real and in motion” added Makhubo. 

CHANGES TO MAYORAL COMMITTEE 

Apart from social grant discrepancies within the City of Joburg, Makhubo has also appointed Councilor (Cllr.) Lawrence Khoza, as the new Member of the Mayoral Committee (MMC) responsible for Economic Development.

This appointment follows the recent resignation of Cllr. Lloyd Phillips who previously headed the portfolio as MMC. 

Cllr. Thapelo Ahmad is appointed as the MMC for Development Planning, replacing Clir. Khoza, who served in the position prior to the announcement.

“We welcome Cllr. Ahmad to the Mayoral Committee and look forward to his service to the residents of Johannesburg,” said Makhubo. 

“The role of development planning is critical to the sustainable future of our City and the vision outlined in our Growth and Development Strategy 2040 vision. It becomes more critical in the post-COVID recovery phase of our economy and City” said Makhubo.

The Executive Mayor is confident that Councilors Khoza and Ahmad will serve the residents of the city with commitment, diligence, honesty and integrity.

Clir. Ahmad was expected to be sworn-in as a Member of the Mayoral Committee on Tuesday 17 November 2020.