The Minister of Social Development, Lindiwe Zulu, will deliver her Executive statement regarding the special Covid-19 relief of distress grant of R350 before Parliament on Thursday, 30 July 2020.
The Democratic Alliance (DA) called for the Minister to give account of her Department’s abysmal handling of the payment of these grants on 9 June 2020 and is happy at the opportunity to hold the Minister to account.
Minister Zulu should make the most of this opportunity, and use the Executive Statement to say the only two things that will really make a difference:
1. The Minister should resign with immediate effect
The Minister’s poor handling of the Covid-19 pandemic has directly affected the lives of millions of South Africans. Her decisions left millions without a means to support themselves and their families for months.
Her decisions left old people, those with disabilities, mothers and their young children, and people desperate for an outcome queuing in the freezing cold and rain for days outside under capacitated SASSA offices. Her decisions blocked food distribution to those in the direst of circumstances in a bid to centralise and consolidate power. It took the intervention of the courts for reason to prevail.
This Minister has time and again proven through her actions that she does not care about helping those who fall under her mandate. This position is clearly just a steppingstone in her career.
What the Minister fails to realise – or maybe she doesn’t care – is that she’s in fact stepping on the most vulnerable in society in her bid for power.
Minister Zulu’s callous actions has proven her incapable of any position in Cabinet. The purpose of Parliament has always been to serve. Not to be served. Unless, in her case, it’s to be served with a notice of dismissal.
2. The Minister should apologize
History will not remember Minister Zulu kindly. She and her Department most certainly will have blood on their hands before the clock eventually strikes on the last of the Covid-19 infections. Her actions will surely rival the devastation caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Due to her hubris whole families are going to bed with empty stomachs night after night; and awaking with no hope in sight every morning. Can the Minister even imagine how hopeless a loving parent must feel facing their crying child?
Many South Africans already had the odds stacked against them. And instead of trying to alleviate their stress, the Minister made it more difficult for them. She dangled the false hope of R350 – put just out of reach for many because of the continued failings of her Department.
By rights, the Minister should apologize in person to each and every one of the millions of hungry people whose suffering her actions perpetuated. She should look them in the eyes and be forced to face the consequences of her actions. But until such time, a public, heartfelt apology would not go amiss.
There is nothing the Minister could possibly say that would excuse her actions, and the only way to end the suffering would be to put a competent Minister in charge of such a vital Department.
So, please Minister, do the honourable thing for once. Fall on your sword and apologize.
Click here to contribute to the DA’s legal action challenging irrational and dangerous elements of the hard lockdown in court