The DA has written to the Speaker of the National Assembly, Ms Baleka Mbete, to request a debate of national public importance on the impending social grants crisis, following Minister Bathabile Dlamini’s failure to give any clarity in the Portfolio Committee yesterday, as to when they will approach the Constitutional Court about the invalid CPS contract.
The Speaker is authorised to schedule an urgent debate on a matter of public importance in terms of National Assembly Rule 103. It is evident that the Department of Social Development (DSD) and the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) are in complete disarray. The failure to give any assurance to the 17 million South Africans who depend on social grants, is a matter of public importance.
This lack of clarity on the distribution of social grants is deeply worrying considering that the invalid CPS contract ends in 37 days, on 31 March 2017.
Clearly, the Minister and SASSA are playing political games with the lives of 17 million poor and vulnerable South Africans who depend on social grants just to get by each day.
Instead of finding a transparent and efficient solution to this crisis, SASSA and Dlamini have manufactured this crisis to ensure that there would be no other option but to negotiate the extension of the invalid contract with CPS, which could possibly cost an extra R 1.3 billion.
This shameful behaviour by the Minister must be punished. She has governed her department with impunity and has shamelessly prioritised campaigning for Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma over the millions South Africans who depend on her to do her job.
The DA has continuously called on President Jacob Zuma to remove Dlamini from her position. The President must now also take full responsibility for this crisis as he continues to remain silent on the matter.
The DA will not sit by quietly as Minister Dlamini, the President and SASSA show such blatant disregard for the millions of South Africans who rely on social grants.
Bridget Masango MP
DA Shadow Minister of Social Development