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SAHRC: Sassa 'turning things around' at CT offices, it should've happened sooner

19 January 2021

The SAHRC's Western Cape commissioner Chris Nissen says he's encouraged by the progress made at local Sassa offices since last week.

The SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) met with the leadership of the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) after the grant applicants were hosed down by police on Friday.

The commission and other rights groups strongly condemned the use of water cannons to enforce physical distancing outside the Bellville Sassa office last week.

The SAHRC is formally investigating the matter.

There have been long queues outside various Sassa offices in Cape Town as thousands of beneficiaries reapply for temporary disability grants that were suspended last month.

SAHRC commissioner Chris Nissen met with the CEO and regional director of Sassa on Tuesday afternoon after inspecting two Sassa offices in the morning.

According to Nissen, Sassa has now reached an agreement with the City of Cape Town to use eight municipal venues to better manage grant applications across the city.

Sassa officials have also introduced a queue management system and volunteer marshalls at various service centres.

While things appear to be "turning around", Nissen says Sassa should have been prepared sooner.

    This morning I went to Bellville and I went to Eerste River and I must say that I am very impressed by what management in the meantime has done, in terms of turning things around.
    Chris Nissen, Western Cape commissioner - SAHRC

    They are putting in place [measures], including getting doctors to fast-track medical examinations. They are putting in place queue management systems, volunteers, and they have now concluded an agreement with the City of Cape Town.
    Chris Nissen, Western Cape commissioner - SAHRC

    What we've heard today is very encouraging, but it should have been rolled out already.
    Chris Nissen, Western Cape commissioner - SAHRC

Source: Cape Talk

The South African Human Rights Commission.

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The Human Rights Commission is the national institution established to support constitutional democracy. It is committed to promote respect for, observance of and protection of human rights for everyone without fear or favour.

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