Social grants: protesters demand answers from Dlamini

2017-03-09 21:48
 Pensioner Morine Shozi at a Right2Know demonstration outside SASSA offices in Umlazi. (Photo: Nomfundo Xolo, GroundUp)

Pensioner Morine Shozi at a Right2Know demonstration outside SASSA offices in Umlazi. (Photo: Nomfundo Xolo, GroundUp)

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Durban - The Right to Know Campaign (R2K) gathered outside Sassa’s offices in Umlazi on Wednesday, demanding answers from Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini on the future of grant payments.

Demonstrators expressed support for the Black Sash’s Constitutional Court case and presented a memorandum to SA Social Security Agency (Sassa) management, GroundUp reports.

The Black Sash has asked the court to ensure that the personal data of grant beneficiaries is protected in view of current “unlawful and unauthorised” deductions from social grants. It wants the court to ensure that the present payment contractor, Cash Paymaster Services (CPS), acts “reasonably” in negotiating a new contract with Sassa, and that Sassa reports to the court.

In its demands, R2K said it wanted clarity regarding the current contract with CPS, which expires on March 31.

“Bathabile Dlamini is angering us because she is not being accountable, nor is she giving the public clear answers. We’re here today to stand for the millions of grant receivers including the elderly, disabled, women and children. All we want is truth. If she cannot answer any of the public’s questions, she must step down,” said R2K’s Sandile Khwela.

“We want any information regarding a new contract to be public. No more secrets, no more lies,” said R2K co-ordinator Ngazini Ngidi.

Morine Shozi, 63, from Umlazi, who supports a family of nine with her old age pension, could not imagine what would happen if she did not get her money.

“I don’t know what we would do. We are barely surviving with my grant money and the child support grant for my grandchild. My family and I would have to go to bed hungry. Sassa cannot let that happen. Grants are a human right and we cannot suffer because of their botched deals,” she said.

R2K handed a memorandum entitled “Hands off our grants” to Sassa KwaZulu-Natal communications manager Mbizeni Molalose.

“People will receive their grants as normal on 1 April,” Molalose said.

Sassa’s Nolubabalo Ntsinga, 40, who depends on the disability grant, said though the turnout was smaller than expected, she was happy to stand in the rain and demonstrate her frustration.

“We cannot have a minister who acts like Bathabile Dlamini. Such a critical survival resource for the poorest people is now at risk,” she said.


Read more on:    sassa  |  r2k  |  durban  |  social grants

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