What is going on at Sassa's offices?
The notices on the outside of the Krugersdorp ...show more
08 June 2012 | Chemélle Barnard
Confusion still sits in the air regarding the registration for the new biometric-based payment systems at South African Social Service Agency (Sassa) which where introduced by CEO of Sassa, Virginia Petersen in February this year.
And residents are asking, what exactly is going on at the Sassa offices in Krugersdorp?
The process was implemented from March this year where all Sekulula cards would be replaced with a temporary Sassa payment card.
The second phase of the process was to start from 1 June to 31 December 2012 which allows for all grant beneficiaries to register.
A resident of Mindalore, Norma Gerber, says she was informed a few months back that members should go to Krugersdorp Town Hall to register on 1 June.
"I especially left early on the Friday (1 June) morning so that I did not have to stand in a queue for hours. I arrived at the Town Hall just past 7am. Around 10am I decided to hear what was going on as I had still not been helped.
"An official at Town Hall said she knew nothing about the registration and that we should go to the SASSA offices."
When the resident arrived at the SASSA offices an employee of SASSA informed her that they had sent out a letter to all public members that registration need not be done on 1 June.
"Surely SASSA was aware of the Post Office strike which has been going on for the past few months, how were we suppose to get the letters," asks Gerber.
After much trouble and arguing the resident was helped and could register for the the card.
However, the problems do not end there.
A Sassa employee, who wishes to remain anonymous, recently contacted the NEWS and said the Krugersdorp offices were closing at around 1pm daily due to ‘training’ taking place.
The source said, "I am not aware of any training taking place, yet people get sent away daily from 1pm because they are on alleged training.
Despite a notice on the door which states the offices will be open from 7.30am to 4pm, the people are told to leave when they arrive after 1pm on most days.
"I feel this is very unfair, as many travel from far to come and register," says the source.
There is another notice which says training is taking place, but according to the source there is no such thing.
A security guard as well as neighbouring shop owners at the Sassa offices confirmed that the office do, more often then not, close around 1pm.
The security guard says he gets told to send people away as meetings are been held.
If there is training been held, surely this would be a critical time to have people in the offices as the registration for the biometric-based payment system started on 1 June?
The communications spokesperson of Sassa was asked to comment on the matter, but none was forth coming at the time of going to print.