We regret social grants situation - Zuma

2017-03-16 17:19
President Jacob Zuma. (Lulama Zenzile, Netwerk24)

President Jacob Zuma. (Lulama Zenzile, Netwerk24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cape Town - President Jacob Zuma says government "deeply regrets" the current situation surrounding the social grants scheme, and is doing everything possible to prevent interruptions to payments.

Zuma told Parliament on Thursday that lessons have been learnt in the ongoing crisis engulfing the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) in its bid to find a service provider in two weeks.

"Government is doing everything possible to ensure that there are no interruptions in the normal process of paying social grants to beneficiaries at the end of this month," he said during a question and answer session.

Also read: Why punish Dlamini before she has failed? - Zuma

"The grandmothers and mothers, the children and also the disabled, they will receive their grants at the end of the month.

"Lessons will be learnt from the current unfortunate episode to ensure there is no recurrence."

He said government "deeply regrets" the current situation, and will ensure there is never again any apprehension with regard to the payment of social grants.

"Action against ministers is the prerogative of the president," he concluded.

'You want to divert me'

IFP MP Liesl van der Merwe asked him if "rumours from the ANC caucus" that current grants service provider Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) is paying for Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma's ANC presidential campaign are true or not.

Zuma said Van der Merwe had a right to free speech in the House, but that her question, based on rumours, was an attempt at distracting him from the issue at hand.

"What we are working on now is that they ensure they are getting their benefits on the 1st [April 1]. You want to divert me," he answered.

"You actually dilute your question. I'm not sure if we are doing a political exercise, or whether you are asking a legitimate question."

'He's your bagman'

DA leader Mmusi Maimane followed up on a question about Zuma's lawyer Michael Hulley, suggesting he has been involved in the CPS negotiations.

"Now if you expect me to answer questions on behalf of other people, simply because I know them, it's irresponsible," Zuma answered.

"I cannot answer the questions about why Mr Hulley was [allegedly] there. I don't discuss things with Mr Hulley and people he can work with.

"Mr Hulley is a lawyer. I don't know under what conditions that would happen."

"He's your bagman," DA MPs shouted out.

"No I'm answering a question that I cannot answer."

He said Michael Hulley runs his own firm, and has other work to do besides working with him.

Govt saves R1bn when people don't steal

Zuma said social grants are one of the best poverty alleviating mechanisms that government has, and are one of South Africa's key achievements.

"Even political parties who have been critical of social grants over the years have now realised the important role of the grants in the fight against poverty."

Also read: SA still a good news story, insists Zuma

He said a long-term solution must be in keeping with the ANC's BEE policy going forward, and must ensure that fraud and corruption do not take place in the Sassa system.

Government saves about R1bn annually in the social grants system through effective anti-fraud measures in the Department of Social Development, he added.

Read more on:    cps  |  jacob zuma  |  parliament  |  social grants

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Competition regulation for a growing and inclusive economy

ADVERTORIAL: The Competition Commission of South Africa is conducting advocacy work in the South African automotive aftermarket industry and has gazetted a Draft Code of Conduct for public comment.


6 myths about male cancer

It is important to be aware of the most prevalent cancer diseases amongst men in our country.


You won't want to miss...

Who are the highest paid models of 2017?
10 gorgeous plus-sized models who aren't Ashley Graham
5 top leg exercises for men
10 best dressed men of 2017
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.