SASSA must lift home visit ban

Issued by Bridget Masango MP – DA Shadow Minister of Social Development
12 Sep 2022 in News

Please see attached soundbite by Bridget Masango MP

Following an oversight inspection to the Soshanguve SASSA office, the DA is more determined than ever that the SASSA home visit ban must be lifted.

What the DA witnessed at this office, is a symptom of the home visit ban that was put into effect during the Covid-19 pandemic and has yet to be lifted: The Nafcoc SASSA office in Soshanguve office does not have enough capacity to service the number of people forced to queue there every month to access their grants.

When the DA arrived, we were met with people who had been queueing since 2 am. Others had slept there the night before. The lines were filled with people hoping to receive help with all manner of grants – young people, elders, days old babies, people on crutches, blind people. They complained that their queries were largely left unresolved, that security guards were running the office, rude SASSA officials and doctors who declined applications without proper examinations.

SASSA needs to be capacitated with more client facing employees – post-Covid grant applications have soared while the staff complement has stayed the same – and a lifting of the home visit ban. Home visits are essential for applicants who are bedridden and those over 75 years old who have to apply for their grants at home. This service was suspended during the Covid-19 pandemic and has never been reinstated.

The disconnect between the brilliant PowerPoint presentations we receive in Parliament and the lack of implementation of services on the ground is characteristic of an ANC government who does not truly care about South Africans in need. The situation at Soshanguve is inhumane. And sadly, it is not the exception but rather the rule.

The DA will submit Parliamentary questions to ascertain when the Minister for Social Development, Lindiwe Zulu, and SASSA will lift the home visit ban; and what plans the Agency has to capacitate its offices in order to address the endless queues and staff shortages.