From the news desk

Sassa says its dealing with system issues, but beneficiaries fed up

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By Loushe Jordaan

The South African Social Social Security Agency (SASSA) insists it’s doing it everything possible to eliminate any glitches at its offices, but frustrated beneficiaries are at their wits end with the continuous problems at the social grant offices.

As an attempt to vent, residents blockaded the entrance to the SASSA offices in Mitchell’s Plain over the weekend, preventing officials from going home. This follows complaints by residents over poor service delivery and long queues at SASSA facilities.

Some residents leave their homes as early as 4am to ensure that they will not stand in queues for long periods of time, however many residents have complained that they are shown away from SASSA officers because of systems being offline.

Sassa spokesperson, Shivani Wahab says in some instances, systems are offline and impacts SASSA offices negatively, however they are doing all they can to ensure that everyone is seen to.

“When the system is down, we arrange with those beneficiaries to come the next day and we ensure that they are prioritised and seen to as soon as possible,” says Wahab.

Wahab says this does create a backlog of beneficiaries, but SASSA management are doing all they can to ensure they are dealt with accordingly.

“This could be seen as chaotic but we can assure you that all our beneficiaries are seen to. We have are even operating over weekends to ensure everyone is being seen to,” Wahab adds.

Commenting on the registration process of SASSA cards, Wahab says that SASSA is on the verge of phasing out the previous service provider for social grant payments.

“We have partnered with the South African Post Office and we encourage all social grant beneficiaries who access grants via cash points to go to their nearest card swop venues to swop their old cards with news SASSA Gold cards,” she adds.

For those who require home visits, SASSA will arrange home visits; however Wahab says it will take a bit of time before it is implemented.

“We do have officials going out and doing home visits, however the process is really slow. We can however promise that everyone will be seen to and card swops will be done before the end of September,” she states.

Many residents have also come forward stating that they have not been paid out. Wahab says beneficiaries who had been denied access to their grants should visit their nearest branch or call customer care on 021 469 0235.  VOC

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