George Mari, MPP
DA KZN Legislature
SASSA officials have been given 30 days to respond to a memorandum delivered to the organization’s Phoenix office by the Democratic Alliance along with aggrieved community members denied their grants, failing which, the DA will take legal action.
The memorandum was handed over to officials on Thursday, 12 July, following a protest march.
The DA’s decision to stage a march comes after numerous attempts to get officials to rectify the problem. For months, DA MPP, George Mari and local Councilors have tried to assist numerous applicants to appeal against the decision of SASSA doctors, who have refused their grant applicants on the basis that they are fit to work. Yet close scrutiny of medical reports from doctors in the Whetstone Clinic and Mahatma Gandhi Hospital clearly recommends that the patient/applicant is unfit to work. The final assessments by SASSA doctors comes after seeing applicants for on average three minutes, without any further medical examination
Most of the grant applicants are aged, frail and suffering ailments that do not allow them to work or be employed. Most are poor and do not have the money to go to court to challenge the decisions of SASSA assessors. The few that did engage lawyers have had their grants approved. Many of them have applied several times after the three month waiting period lapsed.
The DA has appealed to SASSA to ensure that these grants and appeals are dealt with swiftly. Should SASSA fail to address our demands, we will be forced to take the Minister of Social Development to Court and subpoena all doctors to appear in court to explain why they differ in opinion.