Are SASSA and Minister for Social Development, Minister Lindiwe Zulu, deliberately under servicing Western Cape residents?

Issued by Alexandra Abrahams MP – DA Shadow Deputy Minister of Social Development
29 May 2022 in News

Please find an attached soundbite by Alexandra Abrahams MP. 

National government competencies such as SASSA in the Western Cape is in disarray.

However, based on Statistics South Africa mid-year population estimates (2016 -2021), the Western Cape has the second highest provincial in-migration figures, while provinces such as Eastern Cape, Limpopo and KwaZulu Natal have the highest provincial out-migration figures.

This shows many South Africans are moving to the DA – run Western Cape in search of a better life and access to better government services.  Government services in other provinces are severely lacking and rapidly deteriorate under ANC management.

The Democratic Alliance is exposing devastating disparities in the number of SASSA offices in the Western Cape in comparison to other provinces despite the Western Cape having the fifth highest SASSA clients in the country. (see here)

Parliamentary written questions submitted by the DA highlights the Western Cape only having 16 SASSA offices, while other provinces have significantly more.

SASSA offices in the Western Cape are located in: Beaufort West Caledon, George, Oudtshoorn, Paarl, Vredenburg, Vredendal, Worcester, Athlone, Bellville, Cape Town, Eerste River, Gugulethu, Khayelitsha, Mitchells Plain and Wynberg.

Province Number of Offices Total grant clients as at 31 March 2021 (excl. R350 SRD)
Eastern Cape 67 2 849 184
Free State 23 1 040 837
Gauteng 45 2 847 820
KZN 86 4 065 512
Limpopo 55 2 647 292
Mpumalanga 42 1 555 838
North West 33 502 725
Northern Cape 57 1 291 307
Western Cape 16 1 640 057

On Friday 27 May 2022, during an unannounced oversight visit to the local SASSA office in Khayelitsha. We found the 18 SASSA officials diligently seeing to clients and the queues were moving. It was a welcomed sight to see chairs were provided on the premises as well as access to ablution facilities. (see pictures here, here, here, and here)

However, the number of officials were insufficient as the 400-client quota for the day on the premises was reached by 11:40am. Meaning, those outside the gate would not be seen to on the day.

Many SASSA clients take their anger and frustration out on the staff at local offices, but this anger and frustration must be directed at senior management, the SASSA CEO and the Minister of Social Development for the shortage of SASSA offices in the Western Cape.

Pressure from the DA has seen Minister Zulu respond that SASSA is in the process to establish four additional offices: two in Khayelitsha and two in Gugulethu. Additional SASSA offices will alleviate the demand and pressure on other offices in the metropole.

SASSA’s online services are not up to par.   Many eligible clients struggle to upload documents and have to wait for months and in some instances more than a year to get approved.  Their alternative is to opt for in person assistance at local offices.

While cautious not to grow the public sector further, it boggles the mind when R370 million will be spent on salary increases to millionaire managers in the public sector while critical SASSA services to the vulnerable are an afterthought.

The DA will submit follow up questions to Minister Zulu and Minister De Lille, Minister for Public Works and Infrastructure, to establish the timeline for these new offices, but also to ensure no wasteful or corrupt expenditure takes place.