We have never failed grant recipients - Dlamini

2017-03-14 16:03
Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini. (Lulama Zenzile, Netwerk24)

Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini. (Lulama Zenzile, Netwerk24)

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Cape Town - Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini has accused opposition MPs of being "prophets of doom", saying her department has never failed grant recipients.

Dlamini told the House during a debate on the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) crisis that South Africans were being confused by opposition parties portraying themselves as "moral saviours".

"The opposition claims there is a crisis at Sassa. They must stop with their scare campaign, which has caused national anxiety," she told MPs on Tuesday.

"Social grants will be paid on April 1," she said to cheers from the public gallery.

The public gallery was packed with ANC Women's League supporters who backed their chairperson as she faced a grilling from opposition MPs.

The supporters cheered as Dlamini took the podium, causing deputy speaker Lechesa Tsenoli to rebuke them.

Dlamini said she wanted to reaffirm President Jacob Zuma's commitment that grants will be paid.

She said her department has never failed to "pay the right grant, to the right person, at the right time".

Restoring dignity

She said the number of people receiving grants went from 2.2 million people in 1998 to more than 17 million in 2017.

She relayed a story of a grandmother in the Eastern Cape who walks 110km to receive a grant of R1 500 per month.

"It's one story that restores the dignity of life, and to rural people around the country."

Dlamini said by its own admission, the Post Office could not help distribute 10.5 million grants more efficiently than the current service provider Cash Paymaster Services (CPS).

The Post Office closed 100 offices last year.

She said recipients don't have to worry about service providers looting interest accrued in grant bank accounts.

She also displayed a cheque from the last financial year indicating a payment of R10.9m in interest from Grindrod Bank.

"Social grant beneficiaries are not for sale," she declared to cheers from the gallery again.

Opposition MPs were still due to speak on Tuesday after Dlamini spoke.

Read more on:    parliament  |  sassa  |  bathabile dlamini  |  politics

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