CAPE TOWN-- South African Social Development Minister Susan Shabangu and the chief executive officer of the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa), Abraham Mahlangu have assured Parliament that action will be taken against officials found to have violated the agency's supply chain processes.

Parliament's Standing Committee on Public Accounts lambasted Sassa officials after it emerged Tuesday that violations took place in the planning of events costing 4.0 million Rand (about 321,000 US dollars) each in KwaZulu-Natal Province.

The Committee raised concerns about the fact that former acting Sassa chief executive officer Pearl Bhengu had speedily approved the request for these events to be held without the three required quotations on costs being submitted. The Committee said it was apparent that prices were inflated in procuring the services required to stage the events.

Opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) member of the Committee Timothy Brauteseth said "the numbers simply do not add up".

Each event came to about four million Rand, but you can go to a website -- which I went to -- and you'll find that it will cost you about 200,000 to Rand hire the convention hall at the ICC (International Conference Centre) in Durban for 500 delegates," he said. "It shows that there were huge over-inflated costs.


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