Shabangu set to resolve SASSA strike

Sassa Building
Reading Time: 2 minutes

A crucial meeting to resolve the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) strike and avert a social grant payment crisis is underway in Johannesburg.

Social Development Minister Susan Shabangu is meeting striking workers union the National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union  (Nehawu) and senior SASSA officials.

SASSA workers began with their national strike action earlier on Wednesday. They are protesting over a number of issues including the biometric system.

They say the biometric enrolment for beneficiaries is a new function that workers were not consulted on and that the employer implemented it unilaterally.

Shabangu says they want the strike to end soon.

“We must meet their obligations because it’s their right. So those issues as much as we have in our partnership with Nehawu how best can we resolve them. So we have to do it in the interest of our people especially as I’ve indicated, we are moving towards the festive season and some of our beneficiaries are not from around the cities they will want to go home being assured that they will get their monies,” says Shabangu.

Nehawu heeds call for strike

Workers affiliated to the trade union Nehawu have heeded the call for a nationwide strike at a some of the centres of the social security agency SASSA in Cape Town.

At Mitchells Plain’s Sassa offices, management has put a notice at the gate saying they will be taking a limited number of clients today due to the strike, but the centre remains open.

Nehawu deputy provincial secretary Emilia Maloi says their demands include the suspension of the new verification process of beneficiaries known as the biometric enrolments.

“Migration to the biometric system Sassa implemented without consultation with the union that is why we are in dispute. This is opening them up for corruption. It’s not efficient. And to the beneficiaries also it’s not helping them at all.”