An enormous backlog of R350 grant applications has forced SASSA to change tact – but why have they waited so long to put a “Plan B” in place?
Parliament has learned that SASSA is currently ‘drowning in a set of administrative challenges’ related to the R350 grant – despite spending millions to improve its systems less than two years ago.
R350 GRANT BACKLOG: HOW MANY CLAIMS ARE YET TO BE HANDLED?
The Department of Social Development came clean when representatives addressed the National Assembly last week. They detailed the sheer scale of the problems facing SASSA and revealed how many queries have gone unanswered. A total of 300 000 email claims are yet to be addressed. But wait, there’s more…
- SASSA isn’t just facing a backlog of 300 000 emails – there are an estimated 4 000 attempted phone calls a day going unanswered.
- A new call centre is expected to deal with 90% of the emails and phone calls with an 80% success rate.
- As revealed by the DA, the Department of Social Development (DSD) said it paid six technical advisers R2.5 million in total to fix administrative challenges, between May and October 2018. The results, however, have been called into question.
SASSA SLAMMED FOR ‘FAILURE TO PREPARE’
Bridget Masango is the shadow minister for SASSA. She’s less than happy with the ‘ineffective’ changes the department made to its IT systems, claiming that the advice was treated ‘like a white elephant’. The R350 grant, which is available to roughly six million South Africans, will come to a conclusion in October.
“The Democratic Alliance (DA) has learned that the previous Minister of Social Development, Bathabile Dlamini, spent more than R2.5 million for a technical task team to review the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) business model and make recommendations in reforming how SASSA made its cash payments.”
“Had SASSA successfully implemented the suggestions for which it paid so dearly in 2018, vulnerable South Africans might have had more of a fighting chance these past six months with their R350 grants. Instead, SASSA made a white elephant of the advice, and millions of vulnerable people still have no certainty of how they will provide for their families.”Bridget Masango, DA shadow minister