Private sector cares more about SASSA services than ANC – Bridget Masango

DA MP says it is shocking that Agency has no issue with its callous lack of service delivery to poor and vulnerable people

DA oversight indicates the private sector cares more about SASSA services than the ANC government

5 February 2024

If today’s oversight to Morgenzon, Mpumalanga is anything to go by, the private sector cares more about South Africa’s poorest and most vulnerable than the ANC government who is mandated to serve them.

It was very worrying that when the DA confronted the local South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) office regarding the fact that this office was one of 95.3% of SASSA offices across the country that failed to answer their phones, they stated that the office uses word of mouth, via community development workers (CDWs), stakeholder meetings, and social workers to inform grant recipients.

Apart from this being an ineffective means of providing accurate information to a wide group of people as quickly as possible, SASSA offices are also meant to provide assistance. It is shocking that SASSA has no issue with its callous lack of service delivery to the poor and vulnerable people on whose existence the Agency itself is dependent.

It was however gratifying to find that the private sector seems to have taken the plight of SASSA grant beneficiaries to heart.

This morning, the DA encountered no queues at the FNB branch in Morgenzon that delivered SASSA social grants for the first time ever on Friday. This indicates that the DA’s call to beneficiaries to switch accounts away from Post Bank to reputable banks have a positive impact on SASSA beneficiaries who have an almost monthly struggle to access their funds.

There were also no queues at the Standerton Boxer Superstore. In fact, the manager indicated that this business has embraced the payment of grants and that they go out of their way to make SASSA payments as quick and as comfortable as possible by having tills dedicated to SASSA payments on payment days and providing grant beneficiaries with chairs and something to eat and drink while they wait.

We also saw no signs of activity at the Post Office.

The DA will write to the Minister of Social Development, Lindiwe Zulu, to gain urgent clarity regarding the worrying rumour that all Post Offices nationwide will stop providing social grants at the end of March this year. While grant distribution via the Post Office and Post Bank is extremely inefficient and fraught with payment failures, many social grant recipients are still dependent on them to receive their funds.

Issued by Bridget Masango, DA Shadow Minister of Social Development, 5 February 2024