State, de­liver those grants

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE -

MP MKHULEKO Hlengwa sum­marised the feel­ings of many South Africans, par­tic­u­larly those who re­ceive in­come grants, when he said: “We will re­ceive sat­is­fac­tion once these things are signed and de­liv­ered.”

Hlengwa was re­act­ing to Min­is­ter in the Pres­i­dency Jeff Radebe’s an­nounce­ment that a team led by the Depart­ment of Per­for­mance, Mon­i­tor­ing and Eval­u­a­tion’s di­rec­tor-gen­eral would drive a process aimed at quelling anx­i­ety and fear that there might be fur­ther de­lays when an en­tity re­plac­ing Cash Pay­mas­ter Ser­vices takes over the pay­ment of so­cial grants. The devil is in­deed in the de­tail. It is com­mon cause that by now CPS should no longer have been part of the con­ver­sa­tion on the dis­tri­bu­tion of grants. Yet for some rea­son it is.

The Min­istry of So­cial De­vel­op­ment has ap­peared in­tent on en­sur­ing the com­pany stays on – if not as the sole ser­vice provider then in some or other role.

Re­turn­ing the pay­ment of so­cial grants to an en­tity other than the cur­rent ser­vice providers is more than a busi­ness de­ci­sion.

Get­ting the so­cial pay­ment regime right will send the mes­sage that the coun­try is on its way to re­pair­ing its im­age as a land where elites do as they please with the pub­lic kitty. The mil­lions who de­pend on so­cial grants de­serve to rest as­sured that they will get their share of the so­cial wage.

Those who con­trib­ute to­wards this so­cial jus­tice re­quire­ment via their taxes are en­ti­tled to de­mand and see that the state does what is right.

The state has the fidu­ciary duty to en­sure that the bil­lions dis­trib­uted reach the in­tended ben­e­fi­cia­ries in the most fi­nan­cially sus­tain­able man­ner, and meet the state’s com­mit­ment to black eco­nomic em­pow­er­ment and trans­fer of skills.

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