Durban - Political parties have joined voices in calling for an intervention into ‘system glitches’ by the South African Social Services Agency (Sassa) that has left thousands of grantees, across the country, without their payments.
Officials from the agency briefed the Portfolio Committee on Social Development this week on reasons for non-payment of grants and long queues at pay points.
IFP KZN provincial spokesperson for Social Development, Ncamisile Nkwanyana, has criticised the goings on at Sassa, calling on officials to find an urgent resolutions.
“They need to come up with ways to make the process of renewals and issuing of the new cards easier for the elderly, vulnerable and disabled people. We are gravely concerned about reports from social grant beneficiaries across the province complaining about systems malfunctions and confusions which had resulted in many of them failing to cash their monthly payouts after queuing for days waiting for this money,” she said.
During a recent visit to Sassa paypoints in KwaZulu-Natal, Nkwanyana noted complaints from grantees.
“They spoke about issues such as inadequate information about these new cards, money not being available in the new cards, insufficient grants that are short because SASSA have illegally debited doctor fees and airtime that people know nothing about and without their permission,” she said.
Speaking on the briefing to Portfolio Committee, African Christian Democratic Party MP, Cheryllyn Dudley, the glitch stemmed from the overloading of the system affecting 700,000 new card holders.
“During the briefing, Sassa said monies were deposited into the various accounts with no problems but when there was a run of people withdrawing at the same time, the sheer volume of withdrawals caused a glitch. In the trial run this problem did not occur but the chairperson of the committee pointed out that there was no excuse as risk management should have factored in the possibility,” she said.
She added officials assured members of parliament that the system was stabilising and that the grant money would be available by Thursday or Friday and can be withdrawn from merchants or ATMs to avoid queues at post offices.