The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) condemns government’s failure to pay millions of SRD grant recipients their payments since the month of April. This must be fixed now, and recipients need to be paid what they are owed, including arrears.
It is completely unacceptable that SRD grants have not been paid out to recipients for the last two months (April and May). This is plunging the 10 million SRD Grant recipients into absolute poverty and despair.
It is callous of the Department of Social Development, Treasury and SASSA to have allowed for this to happen. The administrative chaos and bureaucracy that is causing the failure to put the necessary verification and payment systems in place is scandalous.
This means that government has repudiated its public undertaking that people will be paid their SRD Grants timeously. The absence of public communications and explanations to recipients shows a complete lack of empathy and urgency.
The government needs to finalise the signing of agreements with banks to facilitate these payments. Government must reinstate the Post Office as an outlet to pay the SRD Grants as it has wide footprint in many rural areas and townships; where recipients live and avoid the need for recipients to spend the money, they do not have travelling to get their little stipends.
It is the role of government to ensure that there is adequate social protection and security nets to ensure that millions who receive SRD grants and depend upon them are not left destitute. The delays are inhumane and should not continue to happen.
It is impossible to envision a working social compact with an administration that is infamous for not to honouring its commitments. If it’s not the payment of SRD grants to millions, it’s non-payment of paying wage agreements. Providing meaningful and timeous relief to the poor and unemployed is a key pillar for a progressive social compact.
Issued by COSATU.
Sizwe Pamla (Cosatu National Spokesperson) Tel: 011 339 4911
Fax: 011 339 5080
Cell: 060 975 6794