Sassa to take charge of disaster relief

2018-04-26 06:01

The City of Cape Town and provincial government met with the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) to plot the way forward for disaster relief provision on Friday 20 April.

The meeting involved representatives of the City’s Disaster Risk Management Centre, the provincial Department of Social Development and Sassa to discuss issues around the arrangements for dispensing social/disaster relief to residents affected by emergency incidents.

Earlier this year, the agency announced it had taken responsibility for the activation of humanitarian relief and conducting assessments — a task that the City’s Disaster Risk Management Centre had facilitated for a number of years on Sassa’s behalf.

The change came about after Sassa had reassessed its policies and procedures in funding service providers (especially NGOs) that provide social relief to disaster victims.

There were concerns that the payments to service providers could possibly be classified as irregular expenditure in terms of the Public Finance Management Act and the Sassa supply chain management policies.

Since the changeover, there have been teething problems that have necessitated the meeting, which resolved that it is in the interest of good governance and service delivery for the City, Sassa and Social Development to cooperate and seek synergy in the arrangements for disaster relief, recognising the respective responsibility of each organisation.

Further meetings will be held to iron out problem areas and to ensure improved service delivery.

But this interim meeting ended on a positive note, and it was agreed to explore the use of modern technology to aid the timeous distribution of social/disaster relief to affected residents, particularly with the onset of winter, according to JP Smith, the Mayoral Committee member for Safety and Security; and Social Services.

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