Disabled people want Khayelitsha Sassa office back 

By Buziwe Nocuze

People living with a disability in Khayelitsha township, Cape Town, protested on Tuesday outside the Department of Social Development (DSD), demanding the return of the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) office to the township.

They sang and danced while waiting for a manager to receive their memorandum of grievances.

Sibongiseni Faku from Freedom to the Forgotten said when the Sassa offices at the social development department’s premises were moved to Kuyasa last year they thought it was temporary because the premises were being renovated.

“But then we saw Social Development coming back without Sassa,” said Faku.

“We have come to show our anger. We heard rumours that it is Social Development that doesn’t want Sassa on their premises. We are here to tell them that we need the offices back on the premises.”

Faku said the Sassa offices in Kuyasa need to stay there. However, “we need another branch for Sassa [in Khayelitsha]. The office in Kuyasa is too far for some people.

“While [Sassa was] still working in Social Development’s premises, people were able to walk to the police station and internet cafes were closer. Now we have to spend money we don’t have.”

The spokesperson for the Western Cape DSD, Monique Mortlock-Malgas, said it was no longer possible to continue sharing premises with Sassa in Khayelitsha because of limited office space, which affected the DSD staff’s ability to offer effective services.

Shivan Wahab, the Western Cape Sassa spokesperson, said the agency was originally included in the proposed renovations of the shared accommodation with the provincial DSD, where they had participated in project meetings.

“Recent communication via email … indicated that the space allocation for Sassa is no longer available due to lack of space at the site,” said Wahab.

Meanwhile, Sassa has implemented a queue management and appointment system to stop clients from sleeping over at contact points.

Pictured above: Differently-abled people protested outside the Social Development building. 

Image source: Buziwe Nocuze


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