LETTER: No regard for the poor
Grant payments fiasco a serious injury to the needy
Reading about the fiasco in the payment (or non-payment) of the nominal R350 special relief of distress grant to beneficiaries, I was again appalled by government/the SA Social Security Agency's apparent inability to effect payment to poor or indigent beneficiaries timeously (or at all).
The manner in which the distribution of this grant has been handled is shocking. The individuals responsible should be ashamed of themselves. While living in government-subsidised houses, driving subsidised vehicles and being able to enjoy three square meals daily, they fail to see that needy recipients of this grant rely on timely payment of the stipend for their survival.
Sassa CEO Totsie Memela’s apology to the affected people is meaningless. Apologies cannot be consumed. The assurance that double payments will be made is equally inane. These people are dependent on monthly assistance, not bimonthly payments. In essence, what is being said is: “We are sorry that you cannot eat this month, but don’t worry, you’ll be able to buy double the amount of food next month.”
The excuses offered are just not acceptable. The people they profess to be helping are suffering due to incompetence and apathy. This being said of this grant, I shudder to think of the chaos that will ensue when the government initiates the basic income grant, which it has contemplated and promised for the past 20 years.
Jules Jordaan, Johannesburg
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