Minister Fernandez welcomes re-opening of all SASSA Western Cape offices | Western Cape Government

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Minister Fernandez welcomes re-opening of all SASSA Western Cape offices

6 May 2020

The Western Cape Minister of Social Development, Sharna Fernandez welcomes the announcement that the Social African Social Security Agency (SASSA) will reopen their offices on Monday, 11 May 2020.

The SASSA offices were initially closed by direction of the National Minister of Social Development, Lindiwe Zulu on 30 March 2020, as part of the Covid-19 lockdown. Whilst we understood that this was done to support the lockdown - for weeks on end, we urged SASSA and the National Department of Social Development, to revisit this decision. Personal Protective Equipment has been ordered for SASSA staff to now enable the re-opening of the office.

The Western Cape Minister of Social Development, Sharna Fernandez stressed that: “ We can no longer have any further delays. The urgency regarding the re-opening all SASSA offices is a growing concern that has been exacerbated by the announcement to slowly migrate from food parcels to an e-vouchers system, and the Social Relief of Distress Grant that will be functional in May and administered by SASSA.”

Minister Fernandez added: “The re-opening of all offices will go a long way in assisting the national entity to respond to the social and economic relief measures announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa last week. With many people not having access to modern technology - a local office serves as the only method for our most vulnerable people to access these essential services.”

It is important to again clarify, that SASSA remains the lead agency charged with social support to the poor in terms of Chapter 3 of the Social Assistance Act. This legislative mandate covers food parcels, vouchers, amongst other forms of social relief of distress. 

SASSA took a decision to suspend the re-opening of offices on 04 May 2020. Furthermore, pending the delivery of the PPE, it is envisaged that offices will open on Monday, 11 May 2020.

Please see attached SASSA Circular for further details.

“President Cyril Ramaphosa announced last week that only 30 per cent of the workforce is allowed at the workplace at any given time. Albeit that this is a reduced workforce, it still allows for SASSA Western Cape, to execute its mandate in full accordance with proper good hygiene and physical distancing practices, as shown possible with other essential services during this time,” concluded Minister Fernandez.