Minister of Social Development Ms Lindiwe Zulu
Black First Land First (BLF) is shocked that almost 60 days into the Covid-19 national lockdown, the poor remain excluded from state help. The reports in the media that to date only 10 people have started receiving the Special COVID-19 Social Relief of Distress (SRD) Grant of R350 (which is expected to be paid per month for six months), is an insult and must not be tolerated.
The government didn’t waste time in making R540 billion available to the white owned banks. Big business continues to be given millions of rands whilst the poor are starved.
BLF has written to the Minister of Social Development, Lindiwe Zulu, and suggested the most effective way to distribute the relief to the poor. We told her that:
“Voting stations are institutions of the state and are located throughout the country within close proximity to the people. Call for volunteers to assist officials and also use the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) to set up a basic administrative process at these voting stations. Give the poor their money in voucher type bills. All you should ask from each person is to produce her/his identity document which in turn should be stamped against receipt of the voucher. Requiring the poor to produce proof of residence and bank account statements and using WhatsApp is not necessary. Neighbours can vouch for each other if you are really hellbent on receiving proof of address.”
It now looks like there is no seriousness to help the poor.
BLF rejects the R350 SRD Grant because we know that a mere 10% of the Covid-19 stimulus package of R500 billion would put R1700 a month in the hands of the poor. The insult of R350 per month for six months constitute a mere 2% of the R500 billion. Now it’s clear that even the meager R350 SRD Grant is being delayed. BLF calls on the Minister of Social Development and the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) to take the poor seriously.
We note the silence of the parliamentary parties. The poor are being starved for the last 60 days. This is intolerable and must be addressed pronto.
Issued by Black First Land First, National Coordinating Committee of (BLF NCC)
22 May 2020
Black First Land First Mail: [email protected]
(BLF Deputy President)
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