Members of South African National Civic Organisation (Sanco), mostly pensioners, marched to the regional office of South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) in Polokwane on Tuesday to hand over a memorandum of grievances pertaining to issues of appalling and irregular conduct by Sassa personnel.
Included in the memorandum are challenges encountered by pensioners regarding pension and social grants. These include, but are not limited to the illegal deduction of money for airtime and electricity vouchers; poor services rendered by Sassa service provider Cash Services, which according to the memorandum continue to “crucify and emotionally abuse the elderly with the Cornerstone funeral scheme”. There was also a call for alleged appalling and irregular conduct by Sassa personnel at offices and service points. Sanco Provincial Secretary, Theo Makola in the memorandum stated they have noted with concern their efforts to change the situation falling on deaf ears whilst beneficiaries of social grants are recipients of sub-human treatment unleashed by Social Service Personnel on grounds of rendering necessary social services.
“We further note that this barbaric conduct by personnel against the vulnerable and the working class in general is inconsistent with the objectives of rendering adequate services to society at large. We collectively resolved to organise ourselves as a class of our own against the backdrop of this precarious conduct which lays a foundation for the rise of a predatory elite hell-bent on accumulating wealth by illegal means.
“We demand the cessation of illegal deductions, electricity and airtime, from grants with immediate effect, precisely seven days after handing over this memorandum. We thus demand full disclosure of these illegal and irregular deductions and where irregularities are found retrospective payments must then take effect within 60 days.
“We demand compensation of marshals at all pay points across the province. This is coupled with the demand that security personnel at such pay points cease to count monies intended for beneficiaries due to its influence on fraudulent activities,” Makola said.
Frank Earl, ?Executive Manager Social Assistance Benefits Payments and Administration at Sassa said they received a memorandum of grievances and will respond in 14 days. “Some of the things stipulated in the memorandum are allegations but we are going to investigate,” Earl said.
Story: Herbert Rachuene
Featured photo: Pensioners and senior citizens gathers at Sassa’s regional office on Tuesday.