Residents march against grant rejection

2017-03-02 06:00
 Photo: suppliedMembers of the public and DA supporters march outside the Sassa offices in Phoenix.

Photo: suppliedMembers of the public and DA supporters march outside the Sassa offices in Phoenix.

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NORTH Coast residents marched outside the offices of the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) in Phoenix on Friday, February 17 against grant rejection, and demanded a Sassa office in Verulam.

The Sassa office was moved from the Verulam CBD last year and relocated to the Department of Social Development offices in Phoenix.

More than 200 residents and councillors of the Democratic Alliance claimed that patients applying for disability grants were being turned away by doctors at the Sassa offices in Phoenix for no apparent reason.

A resident from Cottonlands, Bongi Dladla said: “The government must re-open Sassa offices in Verulam so that people with disabilities can access government services there.

“We have noted that there are huge numbers of people who really need to apply for disability grants, but due to financial constraints are unable to travel from Verulam to Phoenix.

“Moving the offices from Verulam to Phoenix was a bad move and we demand that our government reopens the offices for the sake of senior citizens and people living with disabilities.”

The DA MPL George Mari was among the people who marched to the Phoenix Sassa offices.
DA councillor in Ward 48 Bradley Singh said: “The main purpose for the march was to inform Sassa to catch a wake up. Grant offices in Verulam were closed and moved to Phoenix. This put enormous pressure on needy people who have to travel from Verulam to Phoenix. Another issue that was raised was the refusal of disability grants by doctors from the Sassa office in Phoenix.

“We have received numerous complaints from the public alerting us that their grant applications were turned down. Among the patients who were turned away were elderly women aged between 58 and 60.

“We demand that doctors from Sassa office do a proper examination of patients applying for grants and not turn them away.

“These are the challenges that our people have to go through.

“When an application is turned down, doctors tell the patients to apply after six months, that is unacceptable.”

The memorandum was given to Desmond Hlengwa from Department of Social Development who promised the matter will be reviewed.



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