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Opinion

'Disabled South Africans are sleeping on pavements outside Sassa offices'

14 January 2021 10:26 AM
Tags:
SASSA
Black Sash
Refilwe Moloto
Lynette Maart
Breakfast with Refilwe Moloto
disability grants

A humanitarian and health crisis is unfolding, right now, in South Africa, warns Lynette Maart (Black Sash national director).

Crowds of penniless, disabled South Africans are sleeping on pavements outside Sassa offices in the hope of having their meagre grants approved.

About 211 000 disability grants – 50 000 of them in the Western Cape – have lapsed, unleashing a humanitarian and health crisis.

pixabay.com (2018)

The disability grant fiasco is a symptom of a much larger problem, says Lynette Maart (Black Sash national director).

Refilwe Moloto interviewed Maart, who discussed the systemic dysfunction at Sassa and the unfolding catastrophe.

The Covid-19 pandemic impacted on the application process of disability grants…

Lynette Maart, national director - Black Sash

Sassa indicated in July that they contracted 475 medical officers to conduct assessments. They usually do 40 per day, but they reduced that to 20…

Lynette Maart, national director - Black Sash

Sassa undertook to have a compressive system in place by the end of January. We haven’t yet seen it. It’s unclear how Sassa will manage the process of lapsing…

Lynette Maart, national director - Black Sash

R12.9 billion of the disability grant budget remains. What’s happened to that money? … That money should be sufficient to extend the disability grants for three months, so Sassa has the opportunity to resolve some of its capacity challenges…

Lynette Maart, national director - Black Sash

We’re asking for a task team to help Sassa think through these issues… and that the temporary disability grants be reinstated until these problems are resolved…

Lynette Maart, national director - Black Sash

Listen to the interview in the audio below.


14 January 2021 10:26 AM
Tags:
SASSA
Black Sash
Refilwe Moloto
Lynette Maart
Breakfast with Refilwe Moloto
disability grants

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