The Western Cape Department of Social Development (DSD) condemns the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) for yet again disrupting the delivery of services and the distribution of social grants to millions of beneficiaries.
Members of the National Education Health and Allied Workers' Union (NEHAWU) are striking against the implementation of the biometric enrollment of beneficiaries, which SASSA employees claim is a new function that they should be paid extra for.
As a result, I was informed by the Corporate Manager that SASSA’s staff were striking today at Eerste River and Khayelitsha. In particular, SASSA's staff in Khayelitsha prevented DSD staff from performing their functions by blocking them from leaving the building.
To make matters worse, service delivery and payments are being stalled as beneficiaries have reportedly not been paid their grants as they have not been transitioned onto the new system run by the South African Post Office (SAPO). This follows after SAPO and SASSA took over the distribution of grants after a lengthy Constitutional Court battle, during which the contract with Cash Paymaster Services was declared invalid.
The Minister of Social Development in the Western Cape is committed to ensuring that SASSA's striking staff do not continue with these chaotic operations, especially as poor and vulnerable residents depend on these services most.