17,8 million social grants do not really uplift anyone!

Opinion by FF Plus

17,8 million social grants do not really uplift anyone!
17,8 million social grants do not really uplift anyone!

While the ANC government should hang its head in shame due to its failure to uplift people economically, it is instead boasting about the increase in the number of social grants that it has to pay out. Approximately 17,8 million social grants are currently being paid out and 12,45 million of those are children.

The government is supposed to uplift people and reduce the number of grants. People should be empowered so that they can stand on their own two feet.

The Department itself says that it endeavours to create a better life for the ‘poor, vulnerable and marginalised people’ in society as well as to promote and monitor the implementation of social policy seeing as it empowers people and combats poverty.

The truth, however, is that social grants only serve to make people more dependent on the government. On top of that, this Department is in a pitiful state and it is failing miserably in its main objective of helping people.

The Department has a strategic duty to uplift and develop. South Africa cannot afford to be a welfare state that spends billions of rand on social grants, but fails to uplift the poor and unemployed by means of integrated programmes that promote education and job creation.

Early childhood development is also very important. However, many of these programmes fail due to maladministration and the misappropriation of funds. If South Africa’s actual social and welfare needs are taken into account, it is clear that the Department’s budget and objectives need to be re-prioritised.

The situation at Sassa is also a cause for concern as six out of the nine regional manager positions are not filled and the number of permanent and expert staff members are reduced every year. Sassa is not meeting its performance targets and its irregular expenditure currently amounts to R2 billion.

The National Development Agency, which aims to eradicate poverty by giving grants to community organisations for upliftment programmes, seems to be more concerned with writing reports on poverty instead of actually doing some upliftment work.

Social grants will not solve South Africa’s poverty problems. Keeping millions of people dependent on grants may suit the ruling party, but it is not sustainable. The dreams of a better South Africa without poverty and with equal opportunities for all will only realise when the ANC is no longer in power.

Read the original article in Afrikaans by Tammy Breedt on FF Plus

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