Public urged by Sassa Springs office manager to be patient

Sassa Springs local office manager Lethabo Boya sat down with The Addie to explain what has been happening at the office.

Has SASSA been on strike at any time over the past three months?

As you may know, the Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) contract ended in May.

This coincided with the introduction of the biometric verification system.

This is basically where we use people’s fingerprints to process their application.

Where the disagreement happened was that CPS were previously paid for providing this service but now everything was going to be done in-house but employees were not going to be compensated for that.

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Has the issue been resolved?

No, we are still in talks with the employer so at the moment we are using the ID verification method to process grant applications.

Will the Springs office be affected by the Nehawu strike is due to have started yesterday?

No, there are no Nehawu affiliated employees at our office.

Why has the public been forced to apply for the new gold card?

It is because we are no longer using CPS as a service provider. Instead, we have partnered up with the South African Post Office.

To get a new card, just bring your old card and your ID.

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People have said they are not getting their pension after getting their new card?

It sometimes takes a while for the person’s details to be transferred over, which is why we tell people to keep their old card until they receive their money on the new card.

What the community must be aware of is if you applied for the new card after the 25th of the month, the money will only appear on your new card a month later.

Why is there always such a long queue outside the offices?

Because we don’t just serve the people of Springs, we have people from Tsakane, KwaThema, Benoni and Daveyton. We can’t turn them away, nor can we say we will serve the people of Springs first.

What ends up happening is people from those areas come to Springs, thinking it will not be full and we end up with a lot of people here.

The public has said there are some people who are seen before others, regardless of the time they arrived, why is that?

As Sassa, we have doctors who come in to do assessments for us regarding the disability grant applications.

These doctors are not on our premises every day and every week for a certain period of time.

Therefore, we have such a limited time with the doctors, we prioritise those people who need to see a doctor first.

It’s unfortunate for those who arrived at 6am because it looks like we are ignoring them but that is not the case.

Why not have a ticketing system like the banks?

We used to do that, especially when we could not help everyone on the day.

We would issue them with a ticket and tell them to come back the following day.

What would then happen is those people would arrive at 2pm and expect to be served immediately, which was not fair to the people who were there early.

How many employees are there at the Springs office?

At present, we are not at full capacity. We are hopeful the situation will improve.

We have seven grant administrators who process the applications for clients, then we have two senior grant administrators who verify the application once it has been finalised.

The senior administrators issue letters to clients informing them if their application has been granted or not.

So not everyone does the same thing in the office.

If people have questions or complaints, who can they call?

If I am in the office, I do go out and talk to people, they can phone me. It would be best to call the national number toll-free number because there are people waiting to assist them.

Any final words for the people of Springs?

All I can say is Sassa is here for you.

We are trying our best with what we have, we will assist you to the best of our ability.

  AUTHOR
Siphokazi Zama

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