New Khayelitsha SASSA: Minister Zulu must provide timeline for promise of new offices
31 August 2022
While the DA in the Western Cape welcomes national Minister of Social Development Lindiwe Zulu’s announcement that the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) will soon receive new offices in Khayelitsha, I believe careful monitoring is necessary in order to ensure that this promise is kept.
In July, SASSA suddenly and unexpectedly closed its Khayelitsha office, leaving thousands of clients stranded without access to vital grants. The disruption to service was the result of a building closure which SASSA had failed to adequately plan for. For weeks, Khayelitsha residents faced a stark choice: travel at great expense to already-overwhelmed offices in other districts, or try to survive without any grants whatsoever.
SASSA has since resumed their services from a temporary location, but this facility is far from ideal. Frontline SASSA workers – also victims of their superiors’ inadequacies – are forced to work in cold, cramped conditions, and queues are often long. The city of Cape Town has done what it can to lessen the burden, providing an urgent lease to SASSA to use the Kuyasa sub-council offices as a second facility. While this will help, it still does not replace a dedicated SASSA office in the area.
For those residents of Khayelitsha who have suffered months of frustration as a result of SASSA’s failings, vague mentions of new and permanent facilities are not enough. I call on Minister Zulu to provide a timeline and date by which the new SASSA office will open its doors. This is necessary in order to ensure that SASSA and the national minister can be held to account, and that efficient service delivery can be ensured. While I hope that this new SASSA office will come to fruition soon, I will believe it when I see it.