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The DA calls on the chairperson of parliamentary portfolio committee on social development, Nonkosi Queenie Mvana, to urgently reconvene the committee and demand that the Minister of Social Development, Lindiwe Zulu, and South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) CEO, Busisiwe Memela-Khambula, account regarding the newest bout of non-payment of the special Covid-19 social relief of distress (SRD) grant of R350.
The DA has been reliably informed that SASSA has not paid multitudes of SRD grant recipients since August, even though they have already been vetted and approved. This after we have been inundated with messages from desperate South Africans who rely upon the grant to survive.
The information the DA received suggests that SASSA is struggling to verify bank accounts of grant recipients. The DA finds this excuse ludicrous and unacceptable. The first iteration of the SRD grant has been in operation almost as long as the country’s been in lockdown. How can SASSA still be struggling to get the basics right? Why have the many glitches in their system not been fixed? And this at the expense of vulnerable people.
We have also been informed that although SASSA has touted cashless payment methods like eWallet, the Agency has not finished its negotiations with the various banks. Why would SASSA offer this payment method as an option before it had its ducks in a row? It seems like this iteration of the SRD grants was nothing more than a cruel electioneering tool meant to beholden desperate people to the ANC government whose intention to better their lives only extends as far as empty promises whenever elections roll around.
The ANC government’s continued Covid-19 lockdown and many irrational regulations have left an already struggling South African economy on the brink of implosion. Unemployment has never been higher and thousands continue to lose their livelihoods. That the poorest of the poor have to go through the humility of begging for their grants every month shows how little the concerns of the masses truly mean to the ANC government.
Issued by DA Shadow Minister of Social Development, Bridget Masango MP