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SASSA Dismisses Rumours That Grants “Will Disappear”

Controversy erupted when President Cyril Ramaphosa made the startling assertion that South Africa’s vital social grants and social safety net could simply “disappear” if the ANC loses power in future elections. However, a senior official from the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) has now firmly debunked this claim, reaffirming that grant disbursements will continue uninterrupted regardless of which party forms the government.

Ramaphosa Resorts to Fearmongering Tactics

During his January 8th statement, Ramaphosa blatantly engaged in fearmongering tactics by suggesting that critical social assistance programs are at imminent risk of being terminated. This appeared to be a desperate attempt to coerce South African voters into ignoring the ANC’s well-documented track record of corruption and poor governance by exploiting their fears and vulnerabilities.

Such irresponsible and inflammatory rhetoric is deeply unbecoming of a sitting president entrusted with leading the nation. As the senior SASSA official has rightfully highlighted, social grants are enshrined in law and cannot simply vanish or be unilaterally revoked with a change of government.

ANC Mismanagement Poses Real Threat to Grants

If anything, it is the ANC’s own chronic mismanagement, maladministration, and rampant corruption that pose the most significant threat to the long-term sustainability and efficacy of South Africa’s social grant system. Recent reports have exposed widespread fraud, payment failures, and missing funds within SASSA, painting a deeply alarming picture:

  • Over 150,000 beneficiaries did not receive their January grant payments due to failures in SASSA’s payment verification systems.
  • SASSA unlawfully paid out a staggering R141 million to over 75,000 deceased recipients over a three-year period.
  • Thousands of Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grants were fraudulently paid out to civil servant scammers in 2020.
  • SASSA has failed to adequately address and resolve the identity theft of countless legitimate SRD grant applicants.

DA Committed to Expanding Social Safety Net

In stark contrast to Ramaphosa’s inflammatory claims, the Democratic Alliance (DA) has clearly and unequivocally committed to strengthening and expanding South Africa’s social assistance framework through its official Social Development Policy. Key proposals outlined in this policy include:

  • Increasing the Child Support Grant amount to align with the food poverty line.
  • Extending Child Support Grants through the National Senior Certificate exam to support students.
  • Covering pregnant mothers under the Child Support Grant system.
  • Streamlining and simplifying the application processes for disability grants.
  • Implementing targeted measures to shield vulnerable groups from the impacts of food inflation.
  • Increasing resources and improving compensation for overburdened social workers.

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