Keep calm, grants will be paid - ANC Western Cape

2017-03-09 19:06

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Cape Town - Keep calm, grants will be paid, the ANC in the Western Cape legislature said on Thursday.

The problems at the SA Social Security Agency (Sassa) were a far cry from what it was like to need social assistance during apartheid, said Member of the Provincial Legislature, Pholisa Makeleni.

Drawing on the Lund Report of 1996, she said that in the days before democracy in 1994, whites, coloureds and Indians received payments monthly, while blacks got theirs every second month.

The first three groups were paid by cheque at the Post Office, but blacks got cash at mobile sites, at schools, and even under trees.

“Pensions for the minority were payable from the date of applications, whereas the black majority only got theirs from the date of approval,” she continued, drawing on past studies.

Black recipients also received less than others. She said the system inherited in 1994 was “inhumane”, but Sassa had changed that.

She said they were confident that the contract issues would be sorted out soon.

“As a responsible citizen I call upon all of us in Parliament and elsewhere to calm down and allow the national government to do its work and continue to deliver this vital service to the people of South Africa.”

Another ANC Western Cape MPL, Maurencia Gillion, took a dig at the DA, which had applied unsuccessfully to join next week's Constitutional Court application to get clarity over who would distribute the grants.

“If The DA cared, its members would now all be working really hard in warehouses and stores to make up 17 million grocery hampers to distribute before April 1 to those poor people who get state grants,” she said.

The Department of Social Development came clean earlier this year over its inability to take over the grants payments system from Cash Paymaster Services when its invalid contract ends on March 31.

CPS is expected to carry on with a new contract until the department is ready to take over the task. Questions have been raised over how it was able to get the deal without the usual onerous tender processes.

Read more on:    sassa  |  anc  |  social grants

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