Veliswa Mvenya

MPL Veliswa Mvenya and toddlers from the Khanyisa Orphanage in Mthatha.

Social Development portfolio committee member Veliswa Mvenya has been busy behind the scenes dealing with issues affecting the daily lives of ordinary citizens.

As part of the DA’s ongoing adopt-a-school campaign, she made a commitment to the Khanyisa Orphanage in Mthatha. As part of the project, the DA will also be lending a hand to the Khanyisa Secondary School, which forms part of the complex.

The media was right behind Mvenya to support her in exposing the conditions grant recipients have to endure in order to receive a social grant.

“Upon visiting the area office of Sassa in Willowvale, I found scores of elderly women who had spent the previous night sleeping on the ground, out in the cold in front of the Sassa office because the staff were unable to process all the payouts. To make matters worse, these defenceless women were forced to sleep outside the perimeter fence. I was told that this is “normal” practice and happens regularly,” said.

“The purpose of social grants is part of the government’s mandate to decrease poverty and ensure the well-being of the citizens of the Eastern Cape. However, the treatment of these grant recipients is not only contrary to the dream of a better life for all, it is also inhumane and undignified.

“I have called upon the Eastern Cape MEC for Social Development, Nonkosi Mvana, for urgent liaison with her national counterpart to ensure that the Sassa area office in Willowvale is sufficiently staffed and provided with proper equipment. It is equally unfair towards the Sassa-officials to work under these conditions, as it is towards the grant recipients.”

Mvenya is also looking into allegations of serious mismanagement in the Port St. John’s Municipality, where shack dwellers have been evicted from municipal land. But in the meanwhile, it is alleged that prominent members of the ruling party has been given prime municipal land to erect their own dwellings. The residents of the town are behind the shack dwellers in this case. I have been in contact with the MEC for Local Government about this issue,” she said.

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