Black Sash Media Statements

BLACK SASH CALLS FOR SASSA TO ADDRESS THE IMPACT OF THE SUDDEN CLOSURE OF THE KHAYELITSHA OFFICE AS DESPERATE BENEFICIARIES ARE LEFT WITHOUT SERVICE

BLACK SASH CALLS FOR SASSA TO ADDRESS THE IMPACT OF THE SUDDEN CLOSURE OF THE KHAYELITSHA OFFICE AS DESPERATE BENEFICIARIES ARE LEFT WITHOUT SERVICE

DATE: 27 JULY 2022

Black Sash calls for SASSA to announce an immediate plan to address the sudden closure of the Khayelitsha SASSA Office. On 14 July 2022, the Khayelitsha SASSA office closed its doors to beneficiaries without any alternative plan set in place to provide services. No communication was offered ahead of time. Khayelitsha is the largest and fastest growing township in South Africa, therefore the impact of the sudden halt of SASSA services has been felt by some of the most vulnerable people in the country. SASSA should therefore communicate its plans to reinstate services to the area as a matter of urgency.

The ramifications of the unanticipated closure of the only SASSA office in the area has caused great concern for Black Sash. It has created unexpected difficulty in accessing social grants as well as placing an unforeseen financial burden on beneficiaries who now have to bear the cost of the transportation to alternative SASSA sites in order to receive services.

    

Black Sash has offered SASSA our assistance in the development of a contingency plan and a communication strategy so that the community members that the Khayelitsha office services know what is happening. There is a great need for SASSA services in this community and we have urgently requested an update with time frames for the re-establishment of services. 

Since 20 July 2022, we have been awaiting confirmation of a meeting with the SASSA Acting Regional Manager for the Western Cape to find a way of addressing this crisis. To date, there has been no progress. This means grant beneficiaries are left stranded and have to travel long distances to other SASSA offices at additional transport costs. SASSA does not have a structured or clearly thought-out plan to direct beneficiaries to other offices. This means beneficiaries may go to alternative sites in vain as SASSA offices outside of Khayelitsha are not equipped to deal with the increased numbers of beneficiaries. The SASSA saga continues and once again, beneficiaries bear the brunt of the institution’s inefficiency.

SASSA has a responsibility to provide effective social security services to all who need their support. It is not acceptable that Khayelitsha residents have to bear the brunt of this inefficiency, lack of planning and poor communication. 

We call on the management of SASSA to fulfil their legal obligation to the people of Khayelitsha.

 

FOR FURTHER COMMENT 

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