Africa-Press – South-Africa. The DA says Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu is violating the human rights of citizens by delaying paying social grants, with the party appealing to the SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) to investigate the matter.
The DA laid a complaint on Tuesday at the SAHRC’s offices in Braamfontein.
The SA Social Security Agency (Sassa) has experienced problems paying social grants to about 600 000 beneficiaries who receive their money through Postbank.
The agency apologised for the delays and said it was fixing the problem.
The DA told the SAHRC the government had not addressed these concerns.
DA MP and spokesperson on social development Bridget Masango said the department had denied people access to food, healthcare, and the right to dignity in not solving the payment saga.
Masango said the DA complaint focused on violations of the Constitution and the right to dignity.
“Our complaint to the SAHRC is founded on the bedrock principles enshrined in the South African Constitution, which unequivocally protect the rights and dignity of every citizen.
“Delays in accessing funds for food and medicine have also put grant recipients’ lives at risk, leaving them vulnerable to malnutrition and illness.
“The failure to ensure timely payments directly infringes upon the rights of citizens to social security, significantly impacting their ability to afford essential food and healthcare.
“Grant payment failures disproportionately affect children, compromising their right to nutrition, shelter, basic health services, and social services,” Masango said.
“The ongoing crisis surrounding Sassa grant payments has highlighted the inability of the Department of Social Development to address these pressing issues.
“It is evident that Minister Lindiwe Zulu and her department are struggling to provide the level of care and support that the most vulnerable members of our society require.”
The SAHRC accepted the complaint laid by the DA and promised to probe both the department and Sassa regarding the complaint.
The social grants matter has been one of many issues impacting the department.
At the weekend, City Press reported it returned R15 billion to National Treasury as it could not trace millions of social relief of distress grant beneficiaries.