Pay points ‘could collapse on pensioners’

2011-07-05 07:11

Social grant paypoints in the Eastern Cape are in such a poor state that only 13% of the 2815 paypoints meet prescribed guidelines, the Daily Dispatch reported today.

The paypoints served more than 1.7million social grant beneficiaries, and were supposed to meet guidelines set by the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa).

National social development portfolio committee chairperson Yolanda Botha said the worst sites were in Elliotdale and Mqanduli where the aged were being served in dilapidated structures, some of which were in such a bad state they could collapse on pensioners waiting in the queue.

She said it was difficult to access some of the paypoints, describing the roads as “inaccessible”.

Sassa’s regional head, Sakhumzi Yawa, said only one in 10 centres in the province met Sassa’s specifications.

It was the third leg of the committee’s national visit to all paypoints, after visiting Mpumalanga and the Western Cape.

The committee was expected to present a report to the National Assembly about the conditions and challenges facing grant beneficiaries after visiting all nine provinces in the next few weeks.

Yawa also tabled a report to the committee which reflected high levels of fraud in the province.

Yawa said that in many cases, Sassa officials were involved.

At least 19 Sassa officials, charged for defrauding the agency, had already been dismissed, while charges were being compiled against 6 000 fraudulent beneficiaries.

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