File picture: African News Agency (ANA)
File picture: African News Agency (ANA)

Grandmother spends two days in Sassa office queue without being helped

By Athandile Siyo Time of article published May 22, 2020

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Cape Town – "I couldn't feel my feet any more

because I only had a blanket and a piece

of cardboard to sleep on in the cold,”

said a Khayelitsha grandmother who

slept outside her local Sassa office since

Tuesday to be assisted. 

Hundreds of Khayelitsha Hundreds of Khayelitsha residents desperately queued for assistance

yesterday, with many having slept there the nights before to secure a spot. 

With the Sassa Eerste River office closed after a staff member tested positive for

Covid-19, residents travelled to Khayelitsha to be helped.

The 52-year-old Site B resident said she left home early on Tuesday morning with hopes of being assisted with her grandchild’s social grant.

The woman, who asked to remain anonymous, said her grandchildren had to bring her a blanket as she saw that the day was passing with no hope of being assisted.

“I was surprised to see the time moving with no one saying anything to us, and we figured we would have to sleep there and be the first ones on Wednesday. 

"Little did we know that we would have to sleep there for a second day after people who were left over from the previous week arrived and were put in front (of the queue),” she


The grandmother said the officials only took 60 people a day and the

rest had to go back home and come back again, depending on the services they required. 

“I haven’t been assisted,” she

said yesterday. “I can’t come back

tomorrow because they only deal

with social grants on Wednesdays

and Thursdays. 

“I will have to come back

again next week and hopefully be

assisted,” she said. 

Sassa spokesperson Shivani

Wahab said the Khayelitsha office

had experienced a high influx of

clients since operations resumed on

May 11. 

She said in line with the

government’s phased reopening of

the economy, Sassa offices across the

country currently operated with a

third of the total staff capacity. 

“Despite introducing measures

to restrict a high number of clients

from accessing Sassa contact points

and to restrict overcrowding, the

Khayelitsha local office receives

approximately 600 applications per

day,” she said. 

Wahab said a queue management

system and an appointment system

were in place and all clients at the

contact point were duly assisted.

“The Sassa Eerste River office

has been temporarily closed in the

week for sanitising due to a staff

member testing positive for Covid19.

"This has resulted in some of the

Eerste River clients accessing the

Sassa Khayelitsha local office for

assistance,” she said. 

Khayelitsha Development Forum

chairperson Ndithini Tyhido said

they were trying to intervene and

stop people sleeping outside.

Cape Times

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