George Mari, MPP DA Leader – Phoenix Constituency
HUNDREDS of Phoenix residents reliant on government grants were left out of pocket last week after KwaZulu-Natal’s Social Development department failed to ensure that monies destined for pension, disability and child support grants were transported to a community hall.
According to the department, grantees are only supposed to collect their monies from 11 April. Yet a notice at the Stonebridge hall indicates otherwise, with grantees told to report on 3rd, 4th and 5th April for pay-outs. The vast majority of the grantees rely solely on these funds in order to survive and the events of last week have caused much heartache and confusion. I have subsequently contacted KZN Social Development MEC, Weziwe Thusi, who has committed to meeting with the DA. The DA views this appalling situation as an indictment against the department, given that the pay-out of grants is its primary function. Grantees have also claimed that they are being sent from pillar to post. On arrival at the post office they were told to go to the grant office to collect their monies – when they arrived at the grant office they were told to go to Stonebridge Hall. Most do not have their own transport, so this involves a further cost to them.
The DA expects MEC Thusi to intervene immediately and ensure that the payment of grants is prioritised, while further ensuring that this does not happen again.