SASSA Acting Chief Executive Officer Mr Abraham Mahlangu honored an invitation by Ilitha Labantu in Gugulethu, Cape Town to engage in a dialogue with senior citizens of the area as part of the Nelson Mandela Day activities.
The founding head of Ilitha Labantu Ms Mandisa Monakali indicated that she requested the Acting CEO to come and answer all questions the elderly people may have. She further appealed to all to emulate the example of Nelson Mandela even at their age.
Speaking to the elderly people ACEO Mahlangu informed them that SASSA will do everything possible to resolve all challenges associated with the card swap processes that resulted in some beneficiaries receiving their money late.
"We apologize profusely for the problems encountered by our beneficiaries a few weeks ago and I hope you find it within your hearts to forgive us", Mahlangu appealed.
He further said that SASSA took responsibility for what happened and is working tirelessly with the post office to ensure that this does not happen again.
"Nelson Mandela taught us to admit if we have made mistakes and ensure that they do not occur again. That is why I went to every media platform and elsewhere, admitted openly and apologized for what happened to beneficiaries" said the Acting CEO.
Mahlangu said he cannot imagine how life for the poor would have been like now if SASSA was not providing this important service on behalf of government. He relived memories of when he was working as a post office cash desk in 1986 where he was paying grants to people and other related pensions. He said elderly people then received their money once in three months as opposed to now where grants are paid monthly.
Beneficiaries raised a number of issues around the green card, the card swap processes and charges that are incurred when using other methods.
Mr Mahlangu encouraged all beneficiaries to continue with the card swap process and reap the benefits such as no illegal deductions, charges and swiping free at merchants who work with SASSA.