Preventing fraud and strengthening compliance in Southern Africa

Preventing fraud and strengthening compliance in Southern Africa

Social security administrations in Africa are actively using the ISSA Guidelines to prevent fraud and strengthen compliance. This became evident from a recent technical seminar organized by the ISSA Liaison Office for Southern Africa, and hosted in Ezulwini by the Eswatini National Provident Fund. 

Combatting fraud and ensuring effective contribution collection and compliance systems are top priorities for social security institutions across Africa. As a result, the ISSA Liaison Office for Southern Africa organized a technical seminar bringing together member institutions of the International Social Security Association (ISSA) from the region and beyond. The event was hosted by the Eswatini National Provident Fund from 22 to 24 April 2024, and gathered more than 80 participants from 28 institutions in 15 countries mainly in Southern and East Africa.

ISSA Secretary General Marcelo Abi-Ramia Caetano remarked that the technical seminar included high-quality presentations demonstrating concrete good practices and also very rich discussions. Some key takeaways from the event were:

  • Social security administrations in the region attach great importance to their systems for recovering and combating error, evasion and fraud in contributions and benefits.
  • They are aware of the crucial role played by effective collection systems in preserving the financial equilibrium of social security schemes and in extending social security coverage.
  • Innovative approaches have been implemented by several social security institutions from different countries.
  • The ISSA Guidelines on Contribution Collection and Compliance and on Error, Evasion and Fraud in Social Security Systems are actively used to improve systems and implementation.

The ISSA Technical Seminar took place under the patronage of the Eswatini Minister of Labour and Social Security, Phila Buthelezi, who also contributed with his presence and an opening speech, together with a representative of Prince Lonkhokhela Dlamini, Minister of Natural Resources and former Chairman of the Steering Committee of the ISSA Liaison Office for Southern Africa. In addition, Lindiwe Zulu, South Africa's Minister of Social Development, contributed with a video message.

In connection with the technical seminar, the respective Steering Committees of the Liaison Office for Southern Africa and the Liaison Office for East Africa were held to discuss ongoing and future activities. One of the plans is to organize a technical seminar on the investment of social security funds in East Africa, which will be open to Southern Africa and other English-speaking ISSA members in Africa.