CAPE TOWN – Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma was taken to task by members of Parliament for continued fraudulent payments made to dead people in one of her department’s programmes.
Members of the cooperative governance committee have raised concerns about the Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Department’s Community Work Programme, which has led to irregular expenditure of over R3 billion.
Dlamini Zuma briefed the committee on her department’s annual reports.
Members of parliament have called on Dlamini-Zuma to give them an undertaking and a timeline in her efforts to stop the illegal payments in the Community Work Programme.
The programme, or “CWP”, provides the unemployed with extra cash to support them in their search for full-time or part-time employment, but it has come under serious abuse over the years.
African National Congress member of Parliament, Bheki Hadebe said: “One wouldn’t have expected at this current juncture that you would see such issues of payment to deceased people.”
Dlamini-Zuma said she had come up with a suggestion to help end the problem:
“When it comes to the deceased, I’ve advised the department that we should link our system to home affairs so that before we pay, we run it through home affairs.”
The auditor general told the committee that there was a breakdown in internal controls such as the physical verification of CWP assets.