ANC apologies for non-payment of grants will not put food on the table of the vulnerable

Issued by Bridget Masango MP – DA Shadow Minister of Social Development
12 Jul 2018 in News

Today, the Cabinet extended their “sincere apology to all those who were negatively impacted” by SASSA’s migration to the new South African Post Office (SAPO) grant distribution system.

This half-hearted apology is a pathetic attempt by the ANC to divert attention away from Minister Susan Shabangu’s utter lack of leadership during this period of uncertainty and the government’s failure to properly oversee the migration process.

The ANC’s apologies mean nothing when people cannot feed their families, pay for transport or buy other necessities.

What the Cabinet failed to admit today, was that the new SAPO grant distribution system is in complete shambles.

On Wednesday, the DA visited the SASSA Office in Bronkhorstspruit, Pretoria and we can confirm that the SAPO grant distribution system is not working because they are “waiting for a word on the court order after last week’s shutdown”.

Last week, a court order compelled SASSA and the Public Service Association (PSA) to begin wage talks following the agency’s employees embarking on a strike action. Although the agency claimed the strike action would not have an impact on the new grants distribution system, the system has been marred by failures and beneficiaries not being able to access their money.

Make no mistake, if this is the case in Bronkhorstspruit, this is undoubtedly a national system failure.

Empty apologies and repeated assurances that the problems have been solved mean nothing when grant recipients, many of whom have no other source of income, are not being paid. Any delay in paying out social grants could be the difference between a family having a meal or not.

This past week, we have received alarming reports from SASSA employees that CPS continue to market their services to vulnerable beneficiaries. Worse, the company allegedly captured the personal details of beneficiaries onto its Grindrod system without their consent. The DA, therefore, welcomes SASSA’s decision to take legal action against CPS’ vile attempts to exploit beneficiaries. The parasitic CPS must be held responsible to the fullest extent of the law.

The DA strongly condemns the lack of leadership on the part of the ANC-government as it is on their watch social grant recipients have had to face uncertainty and frustrations.  We will continue to fight for beneficiaries to be treated with the dignity they deserve.