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Concern as social grant applicants are not being assisted fast enough

MEC Sharna Fernandez said by 24 February, the social security agency managed to process 16,569 applications, which left a further 31,000 still in limbo.

FILE: Frustated Gugulethu residents who waited for a full day at the Sassa office and were not assisted, rallied together and confronted Sassa CEO Busisiwe Memela about the problems they were encountering at the office. Picture: Kaylynn Palm/Eyewitness News.

CAPE TOWN - The Western Cape Social Development Department said it was deeply concerned over the slow pace at which social grant applicants were being helped.

MEC Sharna Fernandez on Tuesday said by 24 February, the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) managed to process 16,569 applications, which left a further 31,000 still in limbo.

It has been a very difficult start to the year for 53,000 of temporary disability grant beneficiaries in the Western Cape. They had to reapply for their grant after it lapsed at the end of last year.

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Following an outcry, Sassa officials had to appear before the Western Cape legislature.

And the agency has promised it's doing everything it can to speed up the process.

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The provincial Social Development Department's Joshua Chigome said: “While thousands of vulnerable people still require their assessments to be conducted. Sassa reiterated that all grant recipients will be assessed before the deadline on 31 March 2021.”

The department wants concrete time frames to have the issue addressed.

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