Walk by any Sassa office and you will see people in long lines - young mothers with babies in their arms, old women with the scars of hardship creased on their faces and those already living a tough life with disabilities.
The few hundred rands in grants they receive is generally their only source of income.
The lines move slowly. Sometimes, they don’t move at all.
If that’s bad consider the plight, when nature calls, of visitors to the Sassa offices at the Durban Station on uMgeni Road.
The Daily News visited the toilets and the pictures tell the story.
The toilets, which are only a few steps away from the Sassa office, have 16 cubicles with 14 covered in red tape, indicating that they were out of order.
Only one toilet flushed. There was no toilet paper and no water to wash hands.
Sassa was approached for comment, but Vusi Mahaye, its KZN spokesperson, referred all questions to the Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa) because it owned the building and was responsible for the toilets.
Sassa staff use separate toilets.
Zama Nomnganga, the Prasa spokesperson, said they were aware of the condition of the toilets.
He said the toilets were vandalised over the past three months, but in June two major incidents resulted in the current situation of no water flowing from the taps and in most of the cubicles.
“Sassa staff have their toilets inside their offices. There is also no water from the taps there because the copper pipes were stolen inside the service duct,” he said.
Nomnganga said repairs were expected to be completed in about four months, taking into account the procurement process of about one-and-a-half months, and thereafter construction for about two to three months.
According to Nomnganga, the flushing mechanisms on the 14 toilets as well as the pipes supplying water were stolen.
“We have recently conducted specifications for quotations on the repairs to these toilets. This will include upgrades to security fixtures like changing main doors to steel, and installing burglar guards over the service duct to prevent unauthorised access.”
One woman in the queue told the Daily News she was waiting for a friend to arrive so that she could go to the toilet while her friend looked after her child.
“My mother warned me before I left home, to rather take my baby with me to the toilets instead of running the risk that the child will be kidnapped.
“I turned around at the door to the toilets. I am not taking my child in there,” said the young mother.