SASSA and Post Office must come clean if social grants are at risk, says DA
Cape Town - The Democratic Alliance has expressed concern at Sunday media reports that "seem to indicate that the South African Post Office (SAPO) is in grave financial difficulties and may be forced to close social grant cash distribution points".
"We will therefore write to the chairperson of Parliament’s portfolio committee on social development, requesting that the committee urgently requests [Social Development] Minister Lindiwe Zulu to look into the situation and report back to Parliament," DA shadow minister of social development Bridget Masango said in a statement on Sunday.
Millions of South Africans were reliant on social grants to sustain themselves and their families. Moreover, many social grant recipients in rural areas had no means of accessing their grants other than through the cash distribution points. If SAPO planned to close some of these cash distribution points, vulnerable grant recipients could be left in the lurch, she said.
It was thus imperative that Zulu, as the minister responsible for social development, ascertain from the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) and SAPO what the extent of SAPO’s financial difficulties were and what impact it was likely to have on the distribution of social grants to the most vulnerable South Africans.
"SASSA, SAPO, and minister Zulu must come clean if social grants are at risk. If SAPO becomes another failing state-owned entity and is no longer able to fulfil their contractual obligations in this regard, they – together with SASSA and minister Zulu – will have to put forward urgent contingency measures to ensure that no social grant recipient is left in the lurch.
"The DA believes that Parliament has an integral role to play in ensuring that government does not fail our most vulnerable citizens, and will continue to use this platform to hold government to account," Masango said.
African News Agency (ANA)