South Africans in an impoverished township are profiting from an illegal trade in a precious new currency †‘ saliva.
sufferers in Khayelitsha, Cape Town, were found to be selling samples
of their sputum to healthy people to pass off as their own in a scam to
gain medical grants.
An investigation by the West Cape News
identified people with TB charging R50-100 (Â£4.10-Â£8.20) for saliva
samples contained in bottles stolen from health clinics.
paper said that buyers of the samples were then able to get a card from
a clinic indicating they have TB and use this to fraudulently obtain a
temporary disability grant of R1,010 per month from the department of
It seems to be a competitive market:
A 54-year-old man told a reporter that he makes an average of R500 per
month from selling his saliva to people seeking to trick their way on
to the benefits system. But he said business was "not good" because so
many people were infected with TB in the township that he had a lot of
I thank Jonathan Thomas for the pointer.