According to region, respondents from KwaZulu-Natal – where their president is from – were the most likely to believe grant fraud happened on a regular basis. Almost 4 in 5 KZN respondents (79%) believed this was the case. In comparison, 76% of Western Cape respondents and 72% of Gauteng respondents felt grant fraud was common practice.
Shirley Eadie, spokesperson for Pondering Panda, said, “It’s clear that the majority of South Africans believe fraudulent social grant claims are an everyday occurrence, in spite of efforts by the South African Social Security Agency to help curb fraud, such as the issuing of debit cards to grant recipients. The question we need to ask now is do these findings mirror reality? According to publicly available data, the number of people receiving social grants has doubled over the last 10 years, from almost 8 million in 2003 to almost 16 million in 2013, and it is expected to grow. With around R144 billion allocated in this year’s budget for social protection, grant fraud could be having a far more substantial impact on our national finances than we know. If the belief in pervasive grant fraud does not have any basis in reality, however, then it is also important for the South African government to debunk this widespread idea.”
Interviews were carried out both on cellphones and online between the 28th of August and the 9th of September, across South Africa, excluding deep rural areas. Responses were weighted to be nationally representative in terms of age, gender and race. Pondering Panda conducts surveys via a variety of digital media, including the Mxit social network and Panel Services Africa’s (PSA) online panel. PSA uses responsive surveys (accessible via mobile phones, computers and tablets) to conduct interviews with their panel and respondents are incentivised for each survey they complete. On Mxit, interviews are conducted through an interactive app on mobile phones. The app is available for both feature phones and smartphones, and is accessible on more than 3000 different mobile handsets. Respondents opt-in to surveys voluntarily and are not incentivised.