How long must we put up with this?

We receive Older Person’s Grants. Our grant requires us to visit the nearest Sassa office to review the grant annually, failing which, you could forfeit the grant on the grounds that you are considered deceased.

May is our anniversary month, so we made arrangements to call on the Roodepoort office, on the coldest day in the year so far, in order to put the process into action. This entails receiving the relevant documents from the consultants, along with a list of supporting documents required to proceed. (Normally certified copies of IDs, marriage certificates, three months’ bank statements, etc).

Today, the endless queue continued to grow, creating more congestion as time went by.

At about 10.15am, a staff member identifying herself as Kgomotso came into the room, in order to attempt to explain to the already agitated clients what the delay was.

Her explanation laid the problem at the doors of Telkom and Sassa’s IT department. This ‘line down’ situation has prevailed for three weeks! Evidently, Sassa’s senior management have stated that there is nothing more they can do to resolve the issue. Furthermore, the said Kgomotso kept saying they have no decision-making power in the branch.

Over the last year or so the media has been abuzz with crisis after crisis within Sassa.

I now ask you, with tears in my eyes – Sassa, what more do you expect the long-suffering South African public to put up with from you? I watched hundreds of people entering the office – frail pensioners and mothers with tiny babies, nearly crushed under the stampede. Evidently this has been a daily occurrence.

It’s high time this matter is resolved. Yesterday, if possible, three weeks ago would be far, far better.

 

  AUTHOR
Roelien Vorster

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