DA lists three priorities for Sassa’s new CEO

Former SASSA CEO Pearl Bhengu is seen during a press briefing in Tshwane on 8 March 2018. Picture: Refilwe Modise

Former SASSA CEO Pearl Bhengu is seen during a press briefing in Tshwane on 8 March 2018. Picture: Refilwe Modise

The party says these include securing all Sassa pay points and ensuring that the biometrics enrolment system is completed.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has listed “three key areas” newly appointed South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) chief executive officer Busisiwe Memela-Khambula “needs to focus on as a matter of urgency”.

The party’s Bridget Masango said these are:

  • Security at all pay points to ensure that social grant recipients are protected from muggings and other criminal elements;
  • Probing and ending illegal third-party deductions; and
  • Ensuring that the biometrics enrolment system is completed and that staff are properly trained to be able to use the system to ensure that fraudulent claims are reduced.

Social Development Minister Susan Shabangu announced recently that Memela-Khambula would take over from acting CEO Abraham Mahlangu as permanent Sassa CEO.

Memela-Khambula is the former Postbank managing director.

READ MORE: Sassa gets new CEO

Masango said despite Memela-Khambula having experience in financial services, “she has a tough task ahead”.

Masango said the “tough task” included Memela-Khambula “fixing the myriad of challenges facing Sassa”, with her focus being on “three key areas”.

“What the entity requires now more than ever, is a strong leader who is dedicated to turning things around and putting the interest of the millions of South Africans who depend on them, first. It cannot be that vulnerable social grant recipients are constantly on the receiving end of Sassa’s failures,” Masango said in a statement.

She added that the DA called on President Cyril Ramaphosa “to appoint a minister of social development who is the exact opposite of Minister Bathabile Dlamini” in his new Cabinet.

“Vulnerable South Africans deserve a minister who, instead of lining their pockets, will prioritise the needs of the poor and marginalised. A compromised and unethical leader cannot be at the political helm of one of the country’s most important agencies.

“While the DA wishes Ms Memela-Khambula well in her new role, we will keep a very close eye on her performance and remind her that she serves the interest of the people, not the politically connected few.”

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