The Public Protector has found that the Social Security Agency’s improper conduct in awarding new contracts to service providers for the distribution of food parcels caused destitute people in four provinces to go without the parcels for five months.

Busisiwe Mkhwebane has found Sassa’s conduct in delaying the tender process for the food parcels was improper and constituted maladministration. The complaint was laid by Advocate Paul Hoffman from the Institute of Accountability in Southern Africa.

The PP’s report found the delay was caused by a lack of proper planning.

Mkhwebane says Sassa’s CEO must ensure his employees are trained properly. She has also ruled that disciplinary action be initiated to deal with the issue of wasteful expenditure.

“The investigation confirmed that there was, indeed, undue delay by Sassa in awarding new contacts to service providers for the distribution of food parcels in Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, resulting in a failure to distribute food parcels in the four provinces during the period November 2019 to March 2020. So, it’s four provinces instead of six provinces according to our investigation. The allegation that Sassa’s conduct was improper constitutes maladministration and caused prejudice is also substantiated,” says Busisiwe Mkhwebane.