Parliament, Wednesday, 13 January 2021 – The Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Social Development, Mr Mondli Gungubele, has expressed his concern over non adherence to social distance by grant beneficiaries at certain Sassa pay points.
Mr Gungubele said the way to address this challenge needs innovative approach and the adoption of a system that eliminates human contact. He said the Department of Social Development and Sassa should think around queue management in the immediate term, but strive to eliminate the challenge of cumbersome queues in the longer term.
The queues as evidenced today, could potentially expose vulnerable people to Covid-19 and its new variant. Social distancing, regular hand washing and mask wearing are proven control mechanisms for the deadly virus when used together. Mr Gungubele said the people cannot adopt an approach that seems to suggest that one mechanism is a substitute of the other.
On Wednesday, Sassa announced that they were instituting various measures to deal with queues and those measures include, booking system, maintaining queue management at all pay points, provision of health services and allocating different days for different grant types.
Mr Gungubele welcomed the initiatives and said more needed to be done. He called on people to use the booking or appointment system as facilitated by Sassa to protect themselves against COVID-19. “At this time we need municipalities to provide facilities for Sassa use as pay points. This is a generous and reasonable act for municipalities especially during this time of need for our people,” said Mr Gungubele
He added that vulnerable people should not further suffer the indignity of having to sleep outside to get their grants. He called on the department and Sassa to beef up communication around the strategies and plans especially on hotspot communities.
ISSUED BY THE PARLIAMENTARY COMMUNICATION SERVICES ON BEHALF OF THE CHAIRPERSON OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT, MR MONDLI GUNGUBELE.
For media enquiries or interviews with the Chairperson, please contact the Committee’s Media Officer:
Name: Sibongile Maputi (Mr)
Parliamentary Communication Services
Tel: 021 403 8738
Cell: 081 052 6060
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