Black Sash wants immediate plan from Sassa over Khaylelitsha office closure
The human rights organisation said the office shut its doors to beneficiaries on the 14 July – without an alternative plan to provide services for many grant recipients.
- Black Sash
- South African Social Security Agency
CAPE TOWN – Black Sash has called on the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) to announce an immediate plan to address the sudden closure of its Khayelitsha office.
The human rights organisation said the office shut its doors to beneficiaries on the 14 July, without an alternative plan to provide services for many grant recipients.
Western Cape paralegal field worker Zoleka Ntuli said closing the office has placed an unforeseen financial burden on beneficiaries. Many people now have to bear the cost of transportation to alternative Sassa sites. “The impact the closure has on the beneficiary is profound, many beneficiaries have been unable to access the services or have incurred additional costs in an attempt to gain access,’’ said Ntuli.
Meanwhile Sassa said the office is a state-owned site which is leased from the Provincial Department of Public Works. While it was aware that the site had to be renovated, there was no definite date communicated to Sassa for the space to be vacated, until mid May.
The agency said a number of sites identified in Khayelitsha were not compliant with Occupational Health and Safety standards – and as a result – clients had to be redirected to alternatives sites which had been communicated to the public. SASSA’s Shivani Wahab said staff from the Khayelitsha office had been redeployed to these sites to assist with the demand for services. “SASSA is in the process of securing suitable alternate space in Khayelitsha to ensure business continuity. Details of the alternate site will be communicated in due course”, Wahab