Mr Speaker, the ANC believes that the provision of social security grants remains a key strategy of addressing the plight of the poor.
It is thus extremely worrying when applicants for social security grants in the Piet Retief area are expected to queue outside the South African Social Security Agency, Sassa, offices on a busy side road in the sun and in the rain. Those applying for grants are expected to stand outside and receive services through a small window in all weather conditions. In addition, a shortage of staff often results in those applicants who have been queuing an entire day being turned away without being attended to.
An incident that was also reported was the sad case of an old woman being knocked down by a speeding car while standing in the queue. It is unfortunate that our people have to face such challenges in order to receive the necessary services.
It is hoped that new offices will be sourced to accommodate those who require Sassa services, so that they can be attended to with dignity and in safe surroundings. I thank you. [Applause.]