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The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), as the Official Opposition in the KZN Legislature, notes the assault on the dignity of grant recipients by the Department of Social Development and its incompetent sidekick, the South African Post Office (SAPO).
Our concern arises from the fact that we are past the middle of September and over 500 000 grants recipients have still not been paid their social grants for this month.
These citizens are the poorest of the poor, who are now forced to turn to loan sharks and borrow money at high interest rates. For the past two weeks, queues of grant dependents could be seen outside Post Offices where they were expecting to collect their grants, only to be told that there is a “technical problem” and they should come back another day.
These people do not have money to travel back and forth to collection points, or to put food on their tables, or to purchase essentials like medical supplies. The Department of Social Development, SASSA and the SAPO are placing peoples’ lives at risk and must be held accountable.
As the IFP, we raised our concerns when the SAPO was tasked with grant payments. We foresaw that SAPO would not cope with this added task and our fears have been realised, as we see that it has been placed under business rescue and Members of the Board have resigned.
The SAPO’s incompetence is creating a highly stressful situation for people who have no other income and are totally dependent on social grants to sustain themselves and their dependents. The deafening silence and inaction by the Minister of Social Development, Lindiwe Zulu, and Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies, Mondli Gungubele, is cause for concern.
This is a dire and dangerous situation. Hungry people are understandably angry people. This is a ticking time bomb created by government ineptitude.
As the IFP, we advise grant recipients to migrate their collection points from Post Offices to a commercial bank of their choice, as this would prove to be a more reliable method of receiving their grants.
Issued by IFP KZN Provincial Spokesperson for Social Development, Les Govender MPL