DA slams social grant situation

2011-02-16 20:46

Cape Town - The fact that some 15 million South Africans receive social grants from the state is no success story, Democratic Alliance MP Patricia Kopane warned on Wednesday.

"We should not regard this as an achievement or a success story. It is a shame on us and to the world, if you consider the natural resources that we have as a country," she told the National Assembly during debate on President Jacob Zuma's state of the nation address.

"But do social grants make people happy? Evidently not, but ironically, while they contribute to putting food on the table, recipients of these grants become more insecure because they fear that government may withdraw or reduce the size of the grant," she said.

Grants also added the humiliation that unemployed people felt about being dependent and unproductive, and therefore unable to take decisions about their lives.

Every time they collected their grants they were subjected to all types of humiliation from government officials, still standing in long queues on rainy days with no shelter, no chairs to sit on, no toilets to relieve themselves, while the same officials had expensive office equipment.

In addition, they were stigmatised by the rest of the society as lazy, idle, and worthless, Kopane said.

Hard-working people

The DA was concerned about the fact that large sections of the population depended on social grants.

A society in which the majority depended on welfare could not sustain its development.

The DA strongly believed that the contributions of productive opportunities and skills improvement would reduce dependence on social grants and result in citizens becoming more self-reliant.

The South African people were said to be hard-working and not lazy people.

The question of human dignity, as raised by Zuma and which should be at the heart of all discussions about job creation, had been sacrificed on the altar of outdated and irrelevant labour principles counter-productive to the aim of ensuring that all South Africans of working age who chose to could go out and find a job.

"It seems somewhat irrational to me that we are still having this discussion when 17 years of an inflexible labour market has already proved the point."

Millions of unemployed people were joined every year by yet more unfortunate people for whom working, like basic dignity and decency, would remain out of reach.

"We should be wary of pretending that, in our struggle for dignity and human decency, we have reached the end point where we can refine our new system before we have even achieved some of the most basic goals of dignity for our people.

"Let us not overburden our labour system with stifling protective measures before we have ensured that people have jobs," she said.

  • Tony de Waal - 2011-02-16 21:05

    what about all the workers that collect grants and earn a salary? and insist not to be registered for UIF so that they can not be traced?

  • Leeutjie - 2011-02-16 21:16

    Ag i wish we can get a president with balls and brains.(Like Patricia or Helen)

      Leeutjie - 2011-02-16 21:22

      Must say i also like Lindiwe Mazibuko. In afew years she will also be tops. I think she already has more brains than zoompies.

      Nico - 2011-02-16 21:38

      You mean: A president without balls and with a brain? Not like the current one: Balls and no brain!!

      revolution - 2011-02-17 10:43

      Madams don't have balls... but have boobs!

  • burtfred - 2011-02-16 21:28

    F**k the ANC and their stupid, communist policies. The most dangerour of the lot? - Patel. Nice guy that speaks with forked tongue.

  • Neville - 2011-02-16 21:44

    ANC want to buy votes with all this grants, there is no place for them at pearly gates nobody know's them

  • Neville - 2011-02-16 21:48

    One woman got 7 children from different father's she said she don't care the Goverment pay for them

      Chuck Norris - 2011-02-16 21:52

      Stop talking sh*t Neville. When and where did she say this? I will roundhouse kick you in the face if you talk rubbish again...

  • POLLENYS - 2011-02-16 21:51

    Go, Patricia Kopane! We need more black voices like yours. At last some sense coming from those quarters. But the answer still lies with education and training, where the ANC is failing dysmally.

      POLLENYS - 2011-02-16 22:25

      Jip. It seems all the blacks with brains and insight are in the DA. Viva, DA, viva!

  • Benzo - 2011-02-16 21:53

    The grants system by itself is OK to lift people over a dip. Permanent grants to capable people are a sign of something wrong in society. Find what we import that we could make ourselves (textile and cars spring to mind). Find what we export and see what process we could have done here before shipping 300000 tons of iron ore or coal. SA can make the steel that the world needs. Thinking out of the box!!

      ffaarg - 2011-02-16 23:05

      Grants are a sign of something wrong with society. If we had strong families and strong communities, those that truly need would never want. But we expect government to be our parents. Sad and pathetic. Government should lose the paternal role ASAP. But I suppose it is so entrenched that it could only be phased out over decades. As to making things here. We do make Steel. And we hardly have the power to make anymore right now sadly. But that is not going to be enough to employ all of us is it? Any government that thinks it can create more jobs by creating more regulations, removing flexibility and putting more constraints on business is crazy. Our government, and governments increasingly around the world think it is their responsibility to create employment. That has never been the case in the history of civilisation for anything but war time and can never be sustained. What government needs to do is get out of the way and let the people know it is their responsibility to create work. Government should just put in place quality infrastructure, protect property rights, provide good education, etc.

  • asiseeit - 2011-02-17 03:18

    For communism to exist there has to be poverty, thats when the maxists rears it ugly head by offering them a piece of fish opposed to showing them how to fish.

  • Francois - 2011-02-17 06:12

    Kopane, have you considered the fact that some of them may be:" Lazy, idle, and worthless"? Welcome to the South Africa Cosatu, Racist Mbeki, Janeekop Zuma want-may the Third Wors be with them!

  • nonduplume - 2011-02-17 06:57

    Although I agree with all that the DA says on this matter, I do not see the Western Cape doing anything creative for those in this situation. If you are going to critise then you need to step up to the plate and lead by example!

      AJ - 2011-02-17 08:31

      The DA is leading by example within their remit, however there are certain policies that they have no control over.

      GBES - 2011-04-15 13:00

      Did you listen to the DA manifesto,whic Helen Z. proclaimed in Kliptown,Soweto.One of its aims are to create a "climate" for business to invest in ! Good governance,robust credit control,reliable services.That`s how jobs are created.Govt cannot create jobs,but they must create the right conditions for entrepreneurs.The anc must resign,because the amount of welfare dependents has risen during their watch.Shame on them.

  • CNA-LOL-BS - 2011-02-17 07:02

    There is something seriously wrong with this picture! 44% unemployed in SA (almost half of the population of SA), there are +/- 47 million people in the country of which 4 million is illegal. Would be interesting to see a breakdown of how much money is paid out on social grants annually. Does this include the pensioners aswell?

  • AJ - 2011-02-17 08:28

    More sense eminating from the DA. Mrs Kopane is aboslutely correct.

  • Bhafo - 2011-02-17 08:56

    This is where the ANC has failed, they have failed to promote Black Pride within the Black community. A good Black Man is educated,takes responsibility for his actions, respects his fellow man, does not believe in violence & doesn't blame the past for his failures but rather works towards being a success everday all the attributes lacking in the current leadership of the ANC.Hence the rise in children being born with no fathers there are very few Good Black Men in SA.

  • Worldwise - 2011-02-17 09:19

    "The South African people were said to be hard-working and not lazy people." Whoa there!! This is a statement made by overseas people when they see the work ethic and work capacity of South African immigrants. Most of those immigrants are white and middle class. The grants recipients are basically unemployable rural or squatter camp inhabitants. Please qualify your statement.

  • IanJ - 2011-02-17 09:23

    Grants buy Votes and they appease the masses for the slow and non-delivery of promises the Government has made to get and stay in power. Very clever to have an extremely efficient SARS department (probably the best run Govt Dept) to collect the money but way less clever Departments to spend the money. The ANC is not stupid - they do just enough to keep in power so the Elite and lower ranks can ride a very long gravy train. Don't underestimate their cunningness.

      York Hunt - 2011-02-17 13:17

      YOU ARE RIGHT. The ANC are not all stupid and incompetent. All what we see here is by design, see. World socialism and control is the aim.

  • RS - 2011-02-17 11:05

    Grants were created in the days of the depression to keep the economy and demand!

  • Benny - 2011-02-17 11:50

    The number of people on grant is really alarming. I believe not all the people are fit for the grant. some are really faking it so that they can get the grant from government. 15 million people is too much. its about half of the population. Things are really not right here. something needs to be done ASAP.

  • York Hunt - 2011-02-17 13:14

    The Cloven-Piven Socialist Strategy is at work, ladies and gentlemen. You see, you overload the welfare system to collapse the economy and the frail democracy to install for yourself socialism. Yes socialism is the plan. Not democracy. The ANC have always stood for communism. Their plan hasn't changed! Wiki or google it and see for youselves. Better the devil you know.

      York Hunt - 2011-02-17 13:22

      Cloward-Piven Strategy Educate yourselves so you may undertsand what's really going on.

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