DA leader John Steenhuisen and ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba have both slammed comments made by President Cyril Ramaphosa that should the ANC lose power, social grants could be scrapped.
DA LEADER John Steenhuisen and ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba have both slammed comments made by President Cyril Ramaphosa that should the ANC lose power, social grants could be scrapped.
This comes after Ramaphosa, while addressing an ANC cake cutting event in Mbombela earlier this week, said that if the ANC fails to attain the majority vote, the National Student Financial Aid Scheme and social grants may be scrapped.
Ramaphosa said the only way to keep the grants would be to vote for the ANC in the upcoming elections.
“Our policies have been pro-poor. I don’t know of any other country in the continent that has committed itself to 18 million people who receive grants, young and old, as well as an additional 10 million who get grants of R350,” Ramaphosa is quoted as saying.
Mashaba said ActionSA rejected Ramaphosa’s malicious and misleading claims as fear-mongering.
“ActionSA rejects the malicious and misleading claims by President Cyril Ramaphosa that social grants may be removed if the ruling party loses power in the elections this year. This type of fear-mongering is typical of the ruling party, who are now resorting to outright lies to prevent an electoral loss,“ Mashaba said on Tuesday.
Steenhuisen accused Ramaphosa of lying to South Africans, saying that only the corruption of the ANC would result in the ending of social grants.
“Yesterday, the party’s cowardly president, Cyril Ramaphosa, told a lie with his claim that social grants were ‘likely to disappear’ when the ANC loses the fast-approaching 2024 election.
“The truth is the exact opposite of Ramaphosa’s claim, which reeks of growing desperation as the ANC realises it has as little as five months left in government. The single greatest threat to the sustainability of our country’s social grants system is Ramaphosa’s ANC.
“For nearly three decades they have looted and pillaged the public resources required to continue funding social grants. As the money runs out, the ANC has already been forced to cut the budget for critical services like education and health care,” Steenhuisen said.
Mashaba said ActionSA is not opposed to social grants as his party has been advocating for an increase in some of the grants offered by government.
“The irony is that it is the ruling party that is unable to expand the social grant as it has overly indebted South Africa while its officials stole public money. A R350 grant is nothing to celebrate as ActionSA believes the people of South Africa deserve more.
“ActionSA unequivocally supports social grants to protect the most vulnerable in our society. Instead of removing social grants, an ActionSA government would, in fact, expand them while introducing a new Universal Basic Income Stimulus (UBIS) to replace the meagre R350 Social Relief of Distress Grant. We believe a UBIS could be funded through budget reprioritisation and tackling corruption,” Mashaba said.
Mashaba added that grants by government play an important role in supporting poor South Africans, especially the elderly.
“As a party which advocates for economic justice, ActionSA believes that social grants play an important role in supporting the most marginalised in our communities, and therefore supports increasing and improving its roll-out,” he said.