Minister Zulu visits Gugulethu Sassa offices following complaints

Hundreds of beneficiaries have been queuing for hours at various offices to renew their grants.

FILE: Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu visiting Sassa offices in Gugulethu on 14 January 2021. Picture: Kaylynn Palm/Eyewitness News.

CAPE TOWN - Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu is visiting South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) offices in Cape Town on Thursday.

Zulu is inspecting the grant rollouts following numerous complaints in parts of Cape Town.

Hundreds of beneficiaries have been queuing for hours at various offices to renew their grants.

Temporary disability grants were supposed to lapse from February 2020, but their period of disbursement was extended to December 2020 to cushion affected recipients against the pressures brought about by the State of National Disaster and the subsequent lockdown.

At the Gugulethu Sassa office, people sat in two queues in a shaded area – one for new applications and the other for those with already processed documents.

A woman held a strangers’ baby while his mother was being helped inside.

She said she had been there since 4 am to apply for a childcare grant and she was hoping she would be helped by the end of Thursday.

“If they can employ more people because even us, we’re not safe, it’s crowded. There’s a lady with a small child and that child is not even wearing a mask, it’s way too risky.”

A pensioner also had a long wait. She leaned on a crutch as she explained she’d been helped after many hours waiting in the stifling heat.

“There’s quite a lot of people who want to be served but when you get inside, everything is fine. The problem is outside because the queues are very long and it’s too hot.”

As officials awaited the national minister’s visit, they made sure that COVID-19 regulations were adhered to, reminding people to keep their distance and handing out sanitisers - stark contrast to some of the scenes that played out there earlier in the week.

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