Sassa queue management to cost R52 million

Sassa queue management to cost R52 million

Sassa queue management to cost R52 million

The Social Development Department said “high level” costing suggested the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) might need about R52 million to roll out the queue management system in the agency’s offices across the country.

Last year, Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu said Sassa would pilot a ticketing system to manage queues at more of its offices across the country in this financial year.

The initiative, which formed part of other online systems measures, was to see beneficiaries making bookings to limit accessing the premises in an effort to address the ongoing crisis of vulnerable beneficiaries sleeping outside Sassa offices countrywide.

Zulu said at the time there would be a ticketing system, which would identify the services that an applicant would like to access and then issue a corresponding ticket to the applicant.

A person would then be able to sit anywhere in the office and wait for his or her ticket number to be called.

More on this

“This will do away with the current process where queues are managed through shifting positions on chairs, resulting in people being too scared to leave their chair they are sitting on, in fear of losing their place in the queue.

“It will also prevent those who take advantage of people queuing by selling them priority places in the queue,” Zulu said.

In parliamentary questions, EFF MP Laetitia Arries wrote to Zulu enquiring whether the implementation of the queue management system has been effective as long queues persist even though millions of rand were spent on the pilot.

In her response, Zulu said the queue management project team is currently at the follow-up and evaluation stage of the project, post GO-LIVE.

“During this stage, the team is performing ongoing monitoring and system performance evaluation to provide support, additional training, and adjustments to local offices who have implemented the queue management system.

“This process will allow the team to establish the baseline in terms of current waiting times and be able to measure the effectiveness of the system,” she said.

However, Zulu said it was important to note that a queue management system was about improving the efficiency of managing queues in the local offices.

“These efficiencies mainly contribute to maintaining order within the local office and may have a spill over effect on time spent in the office.

“This collectively with other systems such as the online application system, the self-help kiosk that are to be rolled out later and express queues as well as the ongoing capacitation of offices with alternative energy suppliers are all part of the larger strategies to reduce times spent in queues.”

Zulu said Sassa had in 2022-23 piloted the implementation of the system at about 23 offices and now intends to extend the pilot to another 27 offices in the current financial year.

She said different use-cases and scenarios were being evaluated.

“Part of this exercise will be a full costing for roll out at all the 422 local offices, however, high-level costing suggests that it will cost approximately R52 million.

“This cost is for the hardware (computers, screens and printers) and consumables (paper, etc), thus the plan is to roll this out progressively over time within the existing baseline of the Agency,” Zulu said.

Cape Times