Grantees wait in a queue to receive their R350 grant, outside the post office in Pinetown, KwaZulu-Natal. Photo supplied
Grantees wait in a queue to receive their R350 grant, outside the post office in Pinetown, KwaZulu-Natal. Photo supplied

DA KZN says Sassa has 'burdened' post office with grant payouts

By ANA Reporter Time of article published Jul 30, 2020

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Durban - The Democratic Alliance (DA) in KwaZulu-Natal has called on the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) to account for its poor planning in paying out Covid-19 grants at post offices.

DA KZN spokesperson on social development, Elma Rabe, said paying the R350 social relief of distress grant (SRD) had led to "absolute chaos" at post offices province-wide.

Those eligible for the grant receive SMSes prompting them to collect their payouts, but some desperate residents have been queueing at post offices without having received SMSes or without having been approved for the grant.

“Not only are people waiting hours, if not all day, to collect their meagre government hand-out, but social distancing is also not being enforced or practised,” said Rabe.

She said that the e-Wallet payment system, which was touted by Sassa as well as president Cyril Ramaphosa, had yet to be introduced.

“Sassa has failed to meet with banks to sign the necessary agreements in order to access this facility. Instead, it has burdened the South African Post Office which is clearly unable to provide a sufficient service."

She said the agency was obliged to account to provincial legislature on the situation.

The DA had resolved on Thursday to write a letter to the minister of social development, Lindiwe Zulu, urging her to call on Sassa to “get its act together”, said Rabe.

Should Zulu not acknowledge within seven days that she would act on the matter, the party would would report it to the South African Human Rights Commission, said Rabe.

The SRD grant is available to citizens that are unemployed and not receiving any other form of monetary assistance from government. The state believes the grant will be a cushion for those that are unable to eke out a living while the country battles the coronavirus and remains in lockdown.

African News Agency

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