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Urgent Concerns Rise as Only 4.7% of SASSA Branches Respond to Calls

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Urgent Concerns Rise as Only 4.7% of SASSA Branches Respond to Calls

Urgent Concerns Rise as Only 4.7% of SASSA Branches Respond to Calls. In a startling revelation, a recent investigation by the DA has exposed a distressing reality—only 4.7% of the 212 South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) branches contacted nationwide were able to answer their phones. This alarming statistic raises significant concerns as it implies that SASSA’s social grant recipients face severe difficulties in reaching out to their local branches for crucial assistance or information.

Telephone Troubles Across the Nation

The DA’s comprehensive survey involved reaching out to a random sample of 50% of SASSA branches across the country. Shockingly, of the 212 branches contacted, only 48 (22.6%) had functional telephone lines. The rest either had outdated contact numbers or no telephone information available at all. This revelation underscores a systemic issue affecting SASSA’s ability to provide essential support to its beneficiaries.

Regional Disparities

A deeper dive into the data reveals regional disparities, with Mpumalanga having zero working telephone lines and the North West managing only one operational line. This limited accessibility exacerbates the challenges faced by social grant recipients in these regions, leaving them more vulnerable and isolated.

Operational Challenges

Even when SASSA branches did manage to answer calls, the DA encountered a concerning pattern. Many branches reported that their operational systems were either offline or only partially operational, hindering effective communication and assistance. This situation mirrors the larger structural issues reported by the SASSA national hotline and provincial head offices.

Failed Investments and Ministerial Accountability

Despite purported investments amounting to millions of rands in call centers during the Covid-19 pandemic, these efforts seem to have yielded little to no improvement. The failures under the leadership of Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu have become increasingly evident, raising questions about the effective use of resources and the commitment to serving the nation’s most vulnerable.

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Constitutional Rights Neglected

Section 27 of the Constitution guarantees access to appropriate social assistance for those who cannot support themselves and their dependents. However, the findings of this investigation suggest that very little has changed since the DA’s initial survey conducted a year ago. SASSA’s inability to provide basic access to services underscores the ANC government’s ongoing disregard for the needs of the country’s poorest citizens.

Call for Change and Accountability

As the Registration Weekend on 18–19 November 2023 approaches, South Africans are urged to register and make their voices heard. Visit check.da.org.za to ensure you are part of the movement advocating for a better South Africa for all. The time has come for Minister Zulu to be held accountable, and SASSA beneficiaries deserve competent and caring leadership in the Department responsible for their well-being. The findings of this investigation highlight the urgency of addressing these issues to ensure a more responsive and effective social security system for all citizens.

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