Parliament, Thursday, 15 September 2022 – The Portfolio Committee on Social Development has told the South African Social Security Agency’s (SASSA) CEO to find alternative and proper offices for the provision of SASSA services to the people of Tembisa, who petitioned the National Assembly calling for a better office.

The committee had invited a representative of the petition’s signatories to brief it yesterday on its contents. The petition contained over 2 000 signatures of people complaining about the condition of the SASSA building in Tembisa and calling for improvements. SASSA through the CEO and SASSA Gauteng Regional Executive Manager thereafter responded to the issues raised.

Mainly, they highlighted SASSA’s difficulties in acquiring office space from the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure. To address this, SASSA has embarked on a dual procurement process in which, over and above the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure procurement process, it has received permission from the Minister of Social Development to embark on its procurement process.

However, importantly, the Gauteng Regional Manager reported that the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure has committed itself to procure alternative space for the Tembisa SASSA office.

The committee praised the people of Tembisa for standing up for their right to decent office accommodation for the provision of SASSA services and said the complaint has highlighted the poor state of SASSA offices countrywide. The committee called for the Minister of Social Development to urgently engage with the Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure to intervene. The committee urged the SASSA CEO to find a temporary facility or a mobile truck in the interim.

The committee also resolved to conduct oversight visits to all provinces to assess the state of SASSA offices. The Chairperson of the committee, Ms Nonkosi Mvana, requested SASSA to submit a list of all SASSA offices requiring attention. She also urged Members of the committee to do likewise from their constituency offices.

The committee also received a briefing from the National Development Agency on the implementation, outcome and impact of its turnaround strategy. During engagements on a variety of issues raised in the presentation of the briefing, Members said given the complexity of the turnaround strategy, a workshop is required to facilitate further engagement. In welcoming the presentation, Ms Mvana agreed with this sentiment.

ISSUED BY THE PARLIAMENTARY COMMUNICATION SERVICES ON BEHALF OF THE CHAIRPERSON OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT, MS NONKOSI MVANA.

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