‘ANC corruption’ greatest danger to grant

Henry

DA leader John Steenhuisen slammed Pres. Cyril Ramaphosa after he argued last week that social allowance “is probably going to disappear” if the ANC loses the election later this year.

“The truth is the exact opposite of Ramaphosa’s claim which looks like increasing desperation while the ANC realizes he has less than five months left in government.

“The single, biggest threat to the sustainability of our country’s social allowance system is Ramaphosa’s ANC.

“For nearly three decades, they have plundered and stripped the public resources needed for grant funding. As the money dries up, the ANC has already been forced to cut the budget for critical services such as education and health care.”

Lerato Ngobeni, spokesperson for ActionSA, also rejected Ramaphosa’s “malicious and misleading” claims and says it is characteristic of the ruling party which is now resorting to “blatant lies to avoid an election defeat”.

“The irony is that the ruling party cannot expand the social allowance, because it has plunged South Africa into deep debt while its officials have stolen public money. An allowance of R350 is nothing to celebrate. ActionSA believes South Africans deserve more.”

Steenhuisen says that the child allowance, which amounts to around 71% of the expenditure on allowance, has fallen dramatically in real terms over the past decade. It has been increased annually by as little as 2%, while inflation has averaged 5.2% over the past ten years.

He says researchers found the allocation “takes the food out of babies’ mouths.” After years of below-inflation increases, child benefit has fallen to 72% of the official food poverty line. The intended increase of just R10 represents a 2% increase in the allowance amount, well below inflation. Annual food inflation stood at 12% on 3 September 2022. The grant is going to buy less and the gap between the grant and the food poverty line is going to get bigger and bigger.”

“It is ironic that Ramaphosa – the same man whose government is actively cutting social grants to the poor because his party has looted the fiscus to the brink of bankruptcy – is using the important lifeline to deliberately create dishonest political fear.”

Steenhuisen says social grant is “not immune to ANC corruption” and the “looting has already destroyed the power system, increased unemployment, collapsed basic services and weakened institutions such as the police.”

Ngobeni also says that the payment of allowance to millions of South Africans who need it for their survival is never something to celebrate and the only way to get rid of poverty is by expanding access to employment opportunities.