SAfm: SASSA applicants raise concerns
Some grant applicants raise concerns about SASSA’s processes and spend long hours in queues. Why is this?
The SASSA points in which people were able to receive their SASSA grants were closed during the pandemic, and haven’t been rectified yet.
SASSA is under fire due to the anguish caused to applicants, some elderly people have said to leave home at 4am in order to queue for the SASSA grant. This especially poses a threat in crime ridden communities, these elderly people are frail and still expected to be standing for extended periods of time.
Nkululeko Majozi, Social Security Researcher at the Studies in Poverty and Inequality Institute reflects on the problem, he indicated that the problem is multi-faceted, first being infrastructure – the closing of community halls in communities, and second being a lack of agreement between SASSA and municipal officials. SASSA needs to reinstate their mobile services, it’s been over a year. There has been a high number of SASSA grant applicants during the pandemic, as well as for the SRoD grant as our people are in need. The system that SASSA has implemented with regards to the queuing system in order to deal with the crisis doesn’t really work.
He elaborates that people are, as a result, a victim of crime. The South African constitution guarantees the right to access basic services, the South African government needs to realise progressive access to social security. People have been unable to access social services for months.
The livelihoods of people in the informal sector especially have decimated, SASSA grants became a life line to the people who have no other forms of income. When people cannot receive it for months, it becomes a violation of their basic human rights.
The SASSA system needs a mobile system, where people can access their money easily without waiting in ques at the SASSA office, we have the technology in South Africa to implement this, and it’s sad that there are people still struggling.
Women with infants also find themselves in the situations where they need to sleep overnight on the pavement in front of SASSA offices to be first in the line to avoid the queues, this results in the women and children being victims of common crimes. It is not expectable that our people are put in such ordeals.