Sassa beneficiaries ‘fed up’ with endless queues

2018-06-28 16:11
Local Sassa beneficiaries wait in long queues outside the  Sassa office on Pietermaritz Street on Wednesday.

Local Sassa beneficiaries wait in long queues outside the Sassa office on Pietermaritz Street on Wednesday. (Nompilo Kunene)

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Irate South Africa Social Security Agency (Sassa) beneficiaries are “fed up” with the long queues at the agency’s offices.

Mike Wood from Hayfields said he has made about 10 trips to the local Sassa office on Pietermaritz Street in an attempt to help his wife register for a disability grant after she was medically boarded.

“It’s been more than five weeks of us going back and forth. There is no proper inquiry desk, which means you can stand in the queue all day only for you to be sent away once you reach the counter because you’re missing one document.” Wood said he and his wife usually get there at around 5 am only to be sent away at 4.30 pm and told to come back again the next day.

When The Witness visited the Sassa offices on Wednesday, there were long queues that did not move in about half and hour.

Lunga Mkhwanazi, from Dambuza, said he has been trying to renew his disability grant for the past three months and was now “fed up” with the service from Sassa officials.

“When we ask what the cause of the long queues is we are told that there are too many people and not enough staff,” he said.

A mother of a seven-month-old baby, who asked not to be named, said there were no toilets or rooms for mothers to change their babies in and people had to leave the Sassa premises to use the toilets at the Imbali taxi rank.

Another irate local said that all the workers went to lunch at the same time, which meant everything came to a standstill.

The fuming woman said after queuing for weeks with her disabled 11-year-old nephew, yesterday she was finally assisted but was later told that she was missing a doctor’s letter.

“When I came back with the letter I was told to join the back of the queue. I’ve never been this angry in my life,” she said.

Sassa’s spokesperson, Vusi Mahaye, said the long queues were as a result of Sassa employees in past weeks having been involved in a protected strike.

“In most cases we’ve been working with skeleton staff. We will follow up the case and prioritise it as part of redress.”

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  sassa

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