Nqobile Tshili Chronicle Correspondent
PENSIONERS have called on the National Social Security Authority (NSSA) to decentralise its services saying it was unsustainable for them to be travelling from remote areas for minor paperwork.
Most pensioners who are supposed to be renewing their membership with NSSA are being forced to travel to NSSA’s office in major cities such as Bulawayo.
Some of the disgruntled pensioners said they could not afford travelling costs considering their financial positions.
Mathanda Sibanda from Filabusi accused NSSA of ill-treating pensioners. “We get $60 from NSSA and from that amount we’ve to fork out money for transport. Today (yesterday) I had to travel from Filabusi and buses charge us $6 to come to the city. It’s very expensive considering the amount we’re receiving,” said Sibanda.
Dingilizwe Khumalo from Mbembesi echoed similar sentiments saying decentralisation of NSSA’s services will be convenient for pensioners.
“They’ve vehicles and why can’t they get to districts where the people are based. Look at what the government did when it was vetting its pensioners, it actually went to the ground, attended to people in their home areas but they want us to travel to Bulawayo and any other city when we need help,” he said.
Another pensioner, Albert Moyo, from Lupane said although he was not renewing his licence, he also was facing challenges when dealing with NSSA. Moyo said NSSA should be client oriented and move away from its comfort zone.
“We face various challenges, some people come all the way from Binga just to sort out their papers. They even fail to complete the process in a day forcing them to seek accommodation from relatives in Bulawayo. Times are hard, not so many people will want to entertain visitors at the moment. NSSA should meet us half way as we use a lot of resources in trying to get assistance,” said Moyo who had visited the NSSA Bulawayo office.
Efforts to get a comment from the pensions authority were fruitless yesterday.
NSSA recently advertised that it was going to be updating its database and members should contact its offices for them to be registered.