Min. Fernandez raises concerns about SASSA’s inability to secure office space
I have written to the National Minister of Social Development, Ms Lindiwe Zulu, to request an urgent meeting regarding the serious concerns I have with the South African Social Security Agency’s (SASSA) inability to secure proper office space for the benefit of vulnerable Western Cape citizens who depend on social assistance.
Presently, SASSA Western Cape is rendering services at the following buildings owned and used by the Western Cape Government: Mitchells Plain, Khayelitsha and Eerste River service centres.
SASSA is a national entity that reports directly to the National Department of Social Development and does not form part of provincial departments.
The recent developments at our Khayelitsha shared services office have resulted in numerous aggrieved SASSA clients contacting DSD offices and threatening our staff. Furthermore, I fear we may experience a similar breakdown at our other shared facilities.
We wish to note the following concerns amongst others at the abovementioned shared facilities:
- The well-being of vulnerable clients who are waiting for hours in the cold while queuing for SASSA services;
- Due to congested offices, the inability to render psycho-social support and other social development services to vulnerable citizens;
- Security and safety of DSD staff due to a lack of service delivery when SASSA officials don't honour commitments to community engagements and;
- The labour issues between SASSA employees and management affecting DSD services.
Even though SASSA is a national entity and not under the jurisdiction of the Western Cape Government, we wish to stress the importance of cooperation in an effort to find solutions to resolve the plight of the most vulnerable in our province.