The South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) has promised residents a smoother running service as its Ga-Rankuwa offices have officially been relocated from the Odi-District owned by the North West Development Co-operation (NWDC).
Nandi Mosia, Sassa Gauteng spokesperson, said the department was pleased to inform the communities of Ga-Rankuwa, Winterveldt, and surrounding areas that their services would temporarily be returning to its offices in Zone 15, Ga-Rankuwa as of Monday.
Mosia said the relocation was decided upon as a result of the ongoing dispute between the North West Development Co-operation who owns the premises and their security service providers.
In March, Pretoria News reported about the numerous disruptions at the Ga-Rankuwa offices by striking security officers which left many beneficiaries, some of whom had arrived as early as 4am to join the queue, stranded and frustrated.
The security workers explained that their strike action was a result of them not receiving their salaries for two months.
They stated although they hated inconveniencing the Sassa beneficiaries this was the last resort, in order to get someone to intervene in the dispute between them and their employers.
At the time Joseph Madiba, one of the security officers and workers’ representatives, said they had been battling salary delays with companies appointed to guard properties belonging to the entity for years, but to no avail.
In fact, they said the culture of non-payment or delayed payment by their companies had started as far back as 2019.
Although the department sympathized with workers and had stepped in as an intermediary to try to resolve the impasse, Mosia warned that should the dispute rear its head again they would have to find another location.
“We have resolved to relocate after countless complaints from the community about the quality of service provided in this office, long queues as well as clients being constantly turned back due to the high influx.”
Mosia said for the time being services would resume through a staggered approach of scheduling specific grant payments on certain days, with the aim of improving the quality of service as well as ensuring adherence to the social distancing rules amid growing concerns of the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.
As a result, Mondays and Fridays will be scheduled for child support grants, disability, and foster care grants on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and older person grants reserved for Thursdays.
Community members were further requested to note that no children would be allowed in the offices as part of social distancing management.
“Sassa would hereby like to profusely apologize for the inconvenience caused and assure the community that we are working on finding a permanent solution to the challenge at hand,” Mosia added.
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