SASSA in Benoni needs to improve customer service

Refileo Nt’sekhe MPL

Spokesperson on Social Development

The DA in Gauteng is concerned that South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) beneficiaries in Benoni struggle when trying to inquire their grants. The lack of quality service, lack of queue marshals to attend to the lengthy queues and preference to the elderly is not the modus operandi at these offices. These shortcomings do not adhere to the SASSA vision which is being “a leader in social security services”.

Earlier this month an elderly lady aged 76 tried to make an inquiry about her pension fund at the Benoni SASSA offices. She arrived at their offices around 08h30 only to find that their gates were still closed with long queue outside. Some of the people had started queuing as early as 07h00. After standing for hours she finally got to a counter where she was not helped but wasdirected to another counter. There too, she had to queue and was redirected to yet another counter.

Finally she was told to complete a form and have it signed at the Police station. By this time it was almost and too late for her to return in time to submit her paperwork. When she went back she was told that the elderly have to come in the morning, which could have been told to her earlier that day.

After completing this tedious process, the elderly lady got her card sorted out however she was then told to complete another form to be taken to the police station for her relocation application.

The responsibility of SASSA as a social security organization is to administer quality customer-centric social security services to the poorest of the poor ; thereby restoring the dignity of the beneficiaries.

I will be tabling questions in the legislature to determine the following:

  • Why there are no queue marshals at the Benoni SASSA offices?
  • Why are there no clear directions to assist people?
  • Why are the SASSA offices so dirty?
  • Why the staff did not explain to the old lady that she needed two documents from the police station and that the elderly were only assisted in the morning,
  • Furthermore has SASSA considered having a commissioner of oaths at their offices to assist people?