Is good customer service still a priority to SASSA?

Photo source sourced from Corruption Watch.

MADADENI – A resident of Madadeni, Section 2, Zilindile Zungu recently complained about the service of employees at South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) in Madadeni.

She was attempting to get a grant card since January 5, and visited the SASSA branch almost twice a week every week after, and was not being helped.

She was treated extremely poorly when she went again on Monday, February 6. She waited in line till 1pm. Staff members took lunch and reopened later than they should have.

When they did open, Ms Zungu was second in line. SASSA employee, Thabani Shabalala called the elderly man and woman sitting next to Ms Zungu and did not acknowledge her place in line.

“They should have made us aware if they help older people first. I inquired if he would help me too, and he closed the door on me and said I must wait.”

Another woman who was not in the queue, also applying for a grant, got called in. “I asked them why they were helping her before those in the line and was told she was an employee of SASSA who was on leave.”

When Ms Zungu tried to speak to Mr Shabalala again during her turn, he was busy on his cell-phone and refused to assist her. While she was speaking to him, he left and took a 15 minute smoke break. Ms Zungu asked to speak to the manager.

“Mr Shabalala said hes not concerned if I complain to management.”

She said office manager, Jabu Mlangeni apologised for her staff member’s behaviour, but was rude and not helpful and defended Mr Shabalala. She then seeked assistance at 3.45pm from another employee, Ntombi Mndaweni.

“She told me she was doing paperwork and was unable to help me.”

Ms Zungu explained the only reason why she complained was because she tried to contact the SASSA customer care line twice after the incident and could not get through. She said she felt disrespected and a lot of her time was being wasted because of sheer incompetence.

After her complaint, Customer Service Care Practitioner of SASSA, Busani Mntambo said the situation would be dealt with in a civilised manner, however the employee denied everything the resident accused him of.

“We will ensure Zilindile is assisted and the matter has been taken to management, so the employee will be disciplined. We do not tolerate unruly behaviour towards customers and we tried to help this client promptly, however procedures must still be followed,” concluded Mr Mntambo.

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Payal Devisingh

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