SASSA Is Given Two Weeks To Improve The Long Queues Issue
For the past few weeks, SASSA has had many issues with applicants and beneficiaries waiting in long queues outside their offices. The Social Development Portfolio Committee has given them a deadline of two weeks to come up with a plan to prevent these long queues.
The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) is a national agency of the government tasked with distributing social grants on behalf of the Department of Social Development.
Due to the current issue around long queues outside SASSA offices, SASSA and the Social Development Minister has been asked to present a plan, within two weeks, to prevent the long queues at SASSA pay points and offices.
The Social Development Portfolio Committee has also asked SASSA about the lapsing of Temporary Disability Grants and reapplications, which has led to people queueing for hours in long lines or even staying overnight.
In a presentation done by the Social Development, it was announced that people with lapsed Temporary Disability Grants will have to re-apply, however, there is no guarantee that their applications will be approved.
To improve the application process, Social Development and SASSA are trying to streamline things by improving their communication, implementing an appointment system for medical assessments and encouraging people to apply online.
According to Liezl van der Merwe from IFP, none of the national SASSA call centres was available to assist her when she called them. However, SASSA said that by next week their call centres should be up and running again to assist applicants and beneficiaries.
Understandably, COVID-19 may have contributed to plans being delayed, however, SASSA has been dealing with these issues for years.
Last week, elderly and disabled people who came to reapply for their grants in Bellville were water bombed by police for not social distancing.
Lindiwe Zulu, Social Development Minister, said that when she was in their offices for a meeting and press briefing, she realized what was happening outside and personally asked the police to stop what they were doing.
According to Zulu, the matter is being addressed with SAPS.
Since that event, SASSA has recruited additional medical staff to assist with expediting assessments for the Temporary Disability Grants, which will ensure that people are assisted at a faster pace.
NSFAS has opened its application season for learners and out-of-school youth who will be studying at public universities and TVET colleges in 2022. However, some applicants have had trouble finding their courses listed on the NSFAS website.
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