“We will starve” – grant beneficiaries

Nomusa Mdunge (64) is one of the more than 660 000 people in KZN who receive sa grant.

DESPITE assurances by President Jacob Zuma and the Minister of Social Development, Bathabile Dlamini, that grants will be paid out on 1 April, beneficiaries are concerned they will starve next month.

The concerns comes after the Social Development Department failed to make arrangements for payouts after the contract with Cash Payment Services (CPS) was declared invalid by the Constitutional Court.

Nomusa Mdunge (64) from Clermont who lives with her grandchildren and depends on the grant money said it pains her not knowing if they would have food next month.

“We heard about this crisis on the radio. Zuma assured us that we will get the money, but we are very worried that when comes to 1 April, we will be returning home empty-handed.”

Mdunge who rents a two-room house said she uses the pension money mainly to buy food.

 

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“We appreciate the grant money but the reality is that it is not enough. When I receive the grant, I have to pay for rent, electricity, buy food and pay for what the children need for school.”

She said some of the money she pays towards shops because she buys food on credit when they run out in the middle of the month.

“How am I going to pay for these things if we do not receive the grant money? We will starve, we need to eat and food is expensive, we are really struggling” she said.

Among Mdunge’s concerns was the money that gets deducted from their grant money every month.

 

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“I asked SASSA workers about this and was told that it goes towards the staff salary and maintaining their cards which I really did not understand.”

Mdunge said the money varies, sometimes they deduct R10 and other months, R20.

 

DA spokesman on the Standing Committee for Public Accounts (SCOPA), Tim Brauteseth said after the SCOPA hearings in the last two weeks, it is abundantly clear that the management of SASSA and the Minister of Social Development, Bathabile Dlamini have created the crisis either by design or at the very least by gross negligence.

“A loaded gun is now being pointed at the collective heads of the constitutional court and treasury and the ransom demand is clear: approve a non competitive bidding process for a contract worth at least R2,6 billion or South Africa burns in April.

“This state affairs is scandalous and the DA representatives in SCOPA will not rest until those involved are brought to book,” said Brauteseth.

 

 

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  AUTHOR
Sanelisiwe Tsinde
Journalist/Photographer

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‘SASSA grants will be paid out’ – Social Development Department