Western Cape MEC of Social Development, Albert Fritz, will tomorrow seek direct assurances from Minister Bathabile Dlamini, following the chaotic handling of the looming social grants payment deadline.
MEC Fritz is due to engage Minister Dlamini at MINMEC, a meeting between the National Minister and all 9 MECs of Social Development in the country.
This comes after the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) - a national entity - admitted in a SCOPA meeting in Parliament on Tuesday that there is no programme in place to ensure payments occur in April. On the same day, SASSA then proceeded to contradict itself by lodging court papers in the Constitutional Court. We have now found out that in the space of 12 hours, this very same court action has been withdrawn by SASSA.
To date, SASSA has kept provincial departments in the dark about this matter, and the MEC has received no communication from the National Ministry.
This turn of events can only be described as chaos, and adds to the uncertainty felt by 17 million social grant recipients nationally, and nearly 1.5 million people in the Western Cape. Grant recipients have essentially been left in limbo for 31 days, unsure of whether they will be paid on time, come April 1st.
It is clear that SASSA finds itself in a self-created crisis, for which Minister Dlamini must take full responsibility.
Swift action must be taken if we are to avoid a national crisis.