SASSA South African Social Security Agency suspended thousands of temporary disability and care dependency grants around the country in December last year, due to their and the DSD’s (Department of Social Development) inadequate planning. Hundreds of applicants went to different SASSA locations around the country to reapply for these grants and to send other grant-related queries.
SASSA CEO Tsotsie Memela was recently in conversation with Khaya Sithole during his show On the Agenda, where she spoke about the ways in which the organisation is addressing some of the challenges that delay the payout of social grants.
Speaking to Khaya Sithole, Memela said this experience of COVID-19 has taught the agency to look at things differently.
“Going forward, whether it’s a disability grant or any other grant that we do, we need to look at it differently and see what is the learning that we get and how can we serve our people better.”
Tsotsie expressed her disappointment, following last week’s incidents. Police turned a water cannon on social grant applicants, queuing outside the SASSA’s Cape Town Office supposedly to enforce social distancing, she expressed her disappointment of how the situation was handled.
“As a country, we need to engage in a dialogue on how we treat each other and people that are vulnerable it is unfortunate, going forward we should look at how we do things differently.”
Impact of COVID 19 on the Health Care System
The absence of doctors to test disability grant applicants for Covid-19 led to the inhumane sight of people waiting in long queues outside the SASSA offices across South Africa. Following the cancellation of temporary disability grants in December, many people have found themselves queueing for long hours and sleeping in the streets awaiting their grant payments.