Credit where it’s due.
Thanks and well done to the local traffic departments and how they’ve managed to operate professionally and safely during the pandemic.
Munier went to renew his driver’s licence at Gallows Hill (Green Point mos) on 6 January.
He joined the queue outside the building before the doors opened at 8am.
Officials were posted to ensure distancing was maintained in the line, hands were sanitised and temperatures taken upon entering.
Protocols continued to be followed inside.
Given the backlog, and after closures due to positive cases among staff, Munier was surprised to be out of the building by 9.45am.
There is a wait of up to 6 weeks for a new card, so it was an added bonus receiving a SMS on 19 January to say stiek uit and collect.
In and out in 15 minutes.
But most of all, thanks for the grace period - expired licences are valid until August 2021.
Please note, the grace period does not apply to your vehicle licence (disc).
Renew now or risk racking up a bigger penalty with the City of Cape Town.
Now compare this level of service to the human rights violations mense suffered at the hands of the Department of Social Development.
In disgraceful scenes, hundreds of social grant beneficiaries were blasted with police water cannons outside the Bellville Sassa offices last Friday.
And not just any people, these were poor and vulnerable mense, some in wheelchairs and on crutches, applying for new temporary disability grants.
What made matters worse was that Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu was conducting an inspection of Covid-19 protocols at the same branch that day.
The frustrated crowd - some who had been camping in the street since the night before - had failed to comply with social distancing rules while queueing and were dispersed with water cannons.
The minister later said she regretted the heavy-handed approach: “This must never happen again. We take full responsibility. Nobody would ever want to use water cannons just for the sake of it.
“The bottom line is that the situation was getting out of hand and people were refusing to social distance and queue.”
The incident is being investigated by the SA Human Rights Commission and SAPS themselves.
It’s been madness at Sassa offices around the country ever since they decided to cancel 210 000 temporary disability grants on 31 December - instead of allowing beneficiaries to renew them.
About 50 000 of these beneficiaries are in the Western Cape.
This week Sassa admitted to the Portfolio Committee on Social Development that it was a bad idea to restart the application process.
It means beneficiaries have to get a new medical assessment.
This is difficult when health facilities are stretched due to the rise in Covid patients.
And lockdown Level 3 regulations means the amount of people that can be served daily are restricted.
The Sassa call centre doesn’t respond to calls or emails. So don’t bother.
But the latest bombshell, Sassa executive manager Dianne Dunkerley now claims they don’t have enough money to fund the grants for the next three months.
They apparently only have about R410 million of the R1.2 billion required.
It’s a nightmare for Sassa, but spare a thought for the disabled and their families who are depending on the R1860 to put food on the table during the pandemic.
It’s a national crisis and the president needs to step in urgently. By the way, how much do we have left of that R500 billion?