An answer to a written parliamentary question from the Democratic Alliance (DA) has revealed that 31% of South Africans rely on grants every month to make ends meet.
The Minister of Social Development, Lindiwe Zulu, divulged that more than 18 million people receive some form of grant payment, a massive increase from the mere 7% that received grants in 1996 – when this data was first recorded on a national level.
For many households grant payments have replaced salaries as their source of income. While the DA supports the payment of grants, the creation of jobs is of the utmost importance. South Africans need jobs, not just for financial stability but also for the dignity it provides, and the government has utterly failed to stimulate job growth.
While a natural inclination would be to lay all blame at the feet of the Covid-19 pandemic, the truth is that the first sharp increase to 20% of the population receiving grants happened in the 2004/05 financial year and has been steadily rising ever since, with 30% of South Africans having to rely on grants since 2010/11.
The only worthwhile conclusion that can be drawn is that South Africans are increasingly going into poverty due to a failing ANC government and its policies.
The data clearly indicates that the ANC government and its policies have had an active hand in impoverishing South Africans long before global economic implosions, State Capture or the Covid-19 pandemic made their marks in the history books.
These policies and strategies – often hailed as economic saviors that will invigorate the economy and provide jobs a plenty – serve only the corrupt and politically connected. The callous way South Africa’s poorest and most vulnerable are being treated, especially during the global Covid-19 pandemic, proves that the only interest the government has regarding the poor, are their votes. Their quality of life is an easy sacrifice on the altars of greed and power.