By Phaladi Seakgwe
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.
By Nomsa Makapela
Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has thanked SASSA and other entities for joining her at Mkhephuli senior secondary school as part of the Nelson Mandela Day activities taking place across the country.
Mkhwebane appealed to members of her community to take care of her former school and not to destroy any infrastructure.
SASSA is on site to enroll new beneficiaries of social grants and help existing beneficiaries to swap the old SASSA card for the new yellow SASSA card. The public Protector helped in distribution of SASSA shopper bags to those who came and other items from participating stakeholders.
The card swap programme is proceeding well.
By Phaladi Seakgwe
The Inter Ministerial Committee on Comprehensive social security held a press briefing this morning (12 July 2018) to provide progress on what has been done in relation to the directives of the Constitutional Court on payments of social grants in the country.
Led by the Minister in the Presidency Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma flanked by Ministers Susan Shabangu, Nomvula Mokonyane and Dr Siyabonga Cwele, the IMC assured South Africans that a lot of work has been done since the card swap process commenced. The recent technical glitches that led to some beneficiaries not receiving their money as they expected were also acknowledged. The Ministers apologized and committed that SASSA and SAPO are working hard to avoid a recurrence of this.
The IMC cautioned CPS to desist from obstructionist and destructive behavior of interfering with the card swap process in certain areas and revealed that there are legal processes underway to deal with these matters.
Minister Susan Shabangu also stated that she has already met with the leadership of the National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union (NEHAWU) to work on relations and that a commitment to work together to ensure that beneficiaries of social grants do not suffer has been made. She further explained that the negotiations between the SASSA and PSA will commence as directed by the court to deal with areas of dispute. “We are happy that the strike by PSA is over and everyone is at work”, said Minister Shabangu.
Acting SASSA CEO Mr. Abraham Mahlangu told reporters that an agreement has been signed on 19 June 2018 and a cash injection of R541 Million has been made to SAPO to address infrastructural challenges and build capacity.
Speaking on the recent strike that befell the post office, Minister Siyabonga Cwele said that part of the work that SAPO does is essential and whatever done should be within the framework of this understanding. He said parties are encouraged to go back to the negotiations table to resolve the impasse. The strike affects mainly postal services not the actual payment of social grants.
In conclusion, Minister Dlamini- Zuma urged beneficiaries of social grants to continue with the card swap process and said that the IMC will do everything to ensure that the directives of the court are met.
Over 1, 8 million beneficiaries have migrated to the new SASSA card so far.
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