By Precious Mupenzi

  • As South Africa celebrates 30 years of democracy, the government’s commitment to restoring dignity and rectifying past injustices through social grants resonates profoundly, offering a lifeline of hope and security to countless individuals.
  • During the ministerial outreach program in Durban, Minister Zulu’s site visit to the SASSA Offices in Umnini Thusong Centre underscored the government’s dedication to providing efficient and people-oriented public services, ensuring that citizens’ needs are met effectively.
  • Minister Zulu’s direct engagement with SASSA beneficiaries highlighted the government’s deep commitment to addressing challenges faced by social grant recipients, particularly the abuse of elderly individuals who are denied access to their grants while caring for grandchildren, emphasising the importance of safeguarding their rights and ensuring equitable access to support.

As South Africa celebrates 30 years of democracy, the government’s pivotal commitment to restoring dignity and rectifying past injustices resonates profoundly. At the core of our community, social grants stand as a beacon of hope and support for countless individuals, offering not just financial assistance, but also a lifeline of dignity and security. In the face of adversity, these grants serve as a testament to our nation’s enduring spirit and unwavering dedication to uplifting every South African.

During the second day of the ministerial outreach programme in Durban, Minister Zulu conducted a site visit to the SASSA Offices located in Umnini Thusong Centre in Umgababa near Durban, where she closely monitored service delivery. The government’s steadfast dedication to its citizens underscores the importance of providing public services in a manner that is both people-oriented and efficient.

Upon her arrival, Minister Zulu was warmly welcomed by KwaZulu-Natal’s SASSA leadership, the Regional Executive Manager, Ms Thamo Mzobe, along with the General Manager of Finance, Mr Simlindile Jabavu.

Adding to the welcoming atmosphere was a pleased client, Mama Busisiwe Majola, who graciously shared her positive encounter with the Minister, expressing genuine satisfaction with the excellent service she had received.

“The queue moves swiftly, and we are assisted within a reasonable time. It’s heartening to see that people with disabilities, the elderly, and those with conditions are given priority. It truly reflects professionalism and empathy,” says Majola.

Minister Zulu’s presence underscored the government’s commitment to upholding high service standards and directly engaging with citizens to ensure their needs are met effectively. 

“Monitoring service delivery is crucial for ensuring that government programs effectively reach those in need. It’s great to hear that Mama Majola had a positive experience and was satisfied with the assistance she received,” says Minister Zulu.

Minister Zulu revealed that in the KwaZulu-Natal province alone, the government disburses approximately 4 billion rands in social grants, highlighting the child support grant as the most substantial support. 

Reflecting the government’s deep commitment to its citizens, especially social grant beneficiaries, she engaged directly with SASSA grant beneficiaries, listening intently to their stories and the hurdles they face.

The Minister strongly denounces the abuse of the elderly, particularly in instances where they are denied the opportunity to enjoy their pension grants and care for themselves due to assuming the role of parents to their grandchildren.

“In many cases, elderly individuals find themselves caring for their grandchildren, yet the SASSA grant card remains in the possession of the child’s mother. Consequently, grandmothers are forced to utilize their pensions to support the children, leading to financial exploitation of the elderly,” remarked the Minister, expressing deep concern over this distressing reality.

Reflecting on the Minister’s visit, Mandla Mkhize (48) from Umnini expressed profound gratitude for the minister’s visit and emphasised the significance of the grant as his sole income, vital for providing for his family.

“We are immensely grateful to see the Minister actively engaging with us on the ground, willing to listen to our challenges and more importantly, ensuring that we receive the assistance we need. If we come to the SASSA offices and are not assisted, it means one month or even months without income, jeopardising our ability to put food on the table for our children.”

He expressed hope that the Minister’s visit would inspire the staff to continue their dedicated efforts in assisting them.


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