The head of the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) has apologised for grant beneficiaries’ experiences in long queues at Sassa offices in the Western Cape and in KwaZulu-Natal.
Police used water cannon to enforce social distancing by elderly and disabled grant recipients outside Sassa’s Bellville offices in the Western Cape on Friday while one person died while queueing in Durban.
Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu and Sassa officials were summoned to account before Parliament’s Social Development portfolio committee on Wednesday morning.
Sassa CEO Busisiwe Memela has expressed regret for the shocking scenes that have unfolded outside Sassa offices.
“I want to first acknowledge and apologize to the clients that have experienced what they had experienced in Bellville last week in terms of them having to stand in queues because what we had is that on Tuesday was a COVID challenge in one of our branches and as a result, the Bellville branch was close which therefore people had to come back on Friday. I want to express sadness about what happened in Durban with the fatality that happened.”
Sassa offices have been inundated by thousands of people needing to reapply for temporary disability grants which lapsed in December, affecting about 210,000 people.
Memela also lamented the fact that criminals were taking advantage of grant beneficiaries and preying on them while they queued.
The agency is briefing Parliament’s health committee on what steps it is taking to ease pressure on Sassa offices and to better manage the queues of people who must reapply for temporary disability grants.
Sassa said that it intended paying applicants R500 a month for up to two months while people waited for the required medical assessment to be done. However, this social relief must also be applied for.
In other news – 80-year-old man dies from his 33-year-old girlfriend’s sweetness during s.e.x
A night of pleasure had a tragic end last Saturday at a Dar es Salaam hotel for a local pensioner, David Mluli (80), who died in the arms of his 33-year-old girlfriend Neema Kibaya.
According to a police report, Mr Mluli reportedly collapsed and died suddenly on Saturday while he was in room number 22 at Mbezi Garden Hotel in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, where he had a secret rendezvous with Ms Kibaya. Learn More