The Democratic Alliance has urged Gauteng social development MEC Nandi Mayathula-Khoza to liaise with her national counterpart to intervene to ensure that its satellite offices in Gauteng have open lines of communication with the public who are in dire need of their services.
"It seems that a vital government agency like Sassa [South African Social Security Agency] is deliberately avoiding contact with the public it is meant to serve," DA Gauteng MPL Justus de Goede said on Sunday.
The DA had been receiving numerous complaints from pensioners or their families looking for basic information about services rendered by Sassa, and some were in need of urgent assistance, he said.
Many of these members of the public had mobility problems and were paying for transport without receiving services. Over a year ago, the DA revealed that none of 10 Sassa offices in Gauteng answered their phones when called.
"In most cases, a recorded message informed the caller that the 'mailbox is full and cannot take any more messages', the hallmark of sloppy management," De Goede said.
The DA was aware that Sassa was "wrestling with multiple problems created by an uncaring ANC-led government", he said.
However, this was not an excuse for failing to engage with the public. Gauteng's most vulnerable people were solely dependent on the services offered by Sassa, hence it was crucial that this institution was accessible to people.
"We call on the Gauteng department of social development MEC Nandi Mayathula-Khoza to liaise with her national counterpart Minister for Social Development Susan Shabangu to intervene as a matter of urgency to ensure that its satellite offices in Gauteng have open lines of communication with the public who are in dire need of their services."
As a matter of priority, DA shadow minister for social development Bridget Masango would engage directly with Shabangu and her management, De Goede said.
- African News Agency