The beneficiaries of disability grants are still struggling to get their grants renewed because there are no doctors to conduct assessments and to approve their grant applications, Zululand Observer reports.
Thousands of applicants from Richards Bay, Nkandla, Lower Umfolozi and Nongoma are still waiting to be seen by the district surgeons to assess their conditions.
Provincial SASSA spokesperson, Vusi Mahaye said they had acquired the services of about 33 doctors to work on the backlogs, saying all these doctors started working during the first week of December.
However, senior officials at Nkandla, Richards Bay and Lower Umfolozi said they were still waiting for doctors to conduct assessments.
‘We have heard that the department is working on a tender process, we have not seen or heard any news about the doctors coming to our area.
‘We are currently taking all the applicants information, so that when the doctors are available, we can just phone the applicants for assessment.
‘Applications for renewal are growing every day but we can do nothing to assist applicants, as we are still waiting for doctors,’ said a senior official of the Nkandla office.
In Richards Bay office about 2000 applicants are still waiting.
‘This is totally unacceptable. We are still waiting for our head office to tell us when the doctors are coming to help us. We have not heard anything about the 33 doctors,’ he said.
One of the disgruntled applicants told the ZO that he has been in and out of the SASSA offices to renew his disability grant.
‘They gave me voucher to buy food, but the problem is that with this voucher you can’t buy what you want such as electricity. This means I will have a dark Christmas,’ he said.
Mahaye admitted that there was a delay, but promised that uMkhanyakude, Zululand and King Cetshwayo districts would soon have doctors to conduct assessments.