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Govt pays N$5m to dead beneficiaries  

2022-07-15  Kuzeeko Tjitemisa

Govt pays N$5m to dead beneficiaries  

The Ministry of Gender Equality, Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare paid N$5 million per month in grants to 4 156 deceased beneficiaries and 249 individuals with expired disability grant status.  

This was revealed by line minister Doreen Sioka in parliament on Wednesday, who said the error was detected by the new Integrated Social Assistance System (ISAS), which replaced the Social Assistance System (SAS) with effect from June this year.

“When the migration from SAS to ISAS was done, it was discovered that the system rejected 18 503 beneficiaries, which included 4 156 deceased beneficiaries and 249 expired disability grantees,” she stated.

Sioka said the removal of the 4 156 deceased beneficiaries has already realised a saving of N$5 million per month, and N$60 million per year.

The reason for the disparity was that some of the data transferred from SAS to ISAS could not be positively verified against the National Population Registry System (NPRS) as an authentic record of the particulars of a given beneficiary. 

This was due to a variety of factors, including invalid ID numbers, misspelled names and surnames, incorrect dates of birth, possible fraudulent ID’s and identity theft.

“This had an impact on some beneficiaries’ June pay-outs. As a result, we urge all members of the public, who may not have received their grants in July or had enrolled/applied for their different grants with a reference number or changed their names on national documents after application, to visit the nearest office as soon as possible for verification,” said the minister.

Those who visit the offices from today (Friday 15 July) will be paid next month, while others will be paid in September. 

The new system, Sioka told parliamentarians, is a web application linked to the NPRS, administered by the home affairs ministry. 

“The new system verifies the authenticity of national documents, life status and helps prevent duplication,” Sioka said.

She observed that the new system has advantages and features that the old SAS system does not have. 

She also told lawmakers that the key features of the new system include a web application that allows regional and district offices to capture advices directly on the system, and can also be linked to the payment agents to allow the system to provide near live payment history and reconciliation of payments via a cash paymaster.

Soon, Sioka said, the new system will be linked to other ministries and agencies, especially the Social Security Commission (SCC), which will allow the system to means test grants that have conditions on employment and income levels.

2022-07-15  Kuzeeko Tjitemisa

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