The Minister of Social Development, Lindiwe Zulu, and the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) CEO, Busisiwe Memela-Khambula, should hang their heads in shame following reports that only 10 people have received the special Covid-19 Social Relief of Distress grant of R350.
The Department and SASSA has seemingly misled the nation when they indicated that payments for this grant would commence on 15 May 2020. Clearly they are in over their heads and do not have a handle on this Special Grant. This was evident in Parliament on Thursday when the DA asked the CEO how many recipients of the Special Grant had been paid, and instead of answering the question, she proceeded to give a long-winded explanation on vetting applicants and testing the system.
While the DA acknowledges that it is no small feat to vet and approve 3.5 million people in a short amount of time, the reality is that the President announced the special Covid-19 Social Relief of Distress Grant on 21 April 2020.
SASSA, therefore, had more than three weeks to plan as well as to vet and approve a significant proportion of applications. It is ridiculous that only 10 people have received this grant and no amount of spin will justify this mammoth failure on the part of Minister Zulu and CEO Memela-Khambula.
The revelation today is yet another indication of how the Government is neglecting the poorest people in this country in the most awful manner. Not only do they try to prevent NGOs from distributing food to the poor, but they also make it almost impossible for desperate people to access the meager R350 relief.
SASSA has so far failed to fully rise to the challenge of supporting those in need. The DA calls on Minister Zulu to take full responsibility for her Department’s poor showing.
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