Two months before local government elections, the Democratic Alliance on Wednesday launched a petition to pressure the government to increase welfare grants, saying the hikes announced by Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan in the 2016 budget were negligible.
“We encourage all South Africans to sign the DA’s petition to be handed over to the department of social development,” said the DA’s social development spokeswoman Bridget Masango.
She said the increases Gordhan announced in February, and which will see the old age and disability grants increase by R80 a month and child care benefits by R20, were well below inflation.
“This is simply not enough for the poor who have to fight for survival amidst the worst recorded drought in over a century, increasing food prices, water shortages and job losses,” Masango said.
“The DA has been battling with a selfish ANC that governs like black lives don’t matter. So enthralled in luxury, the ANC has cast little concern to the suffering of millions of poor people across the country.
“Instead of cutting wasteful and fruitless expenditure and ensuring that money is made available for those who need it the most, the ANC government has continued to splurge on their cronies.”
The introduction of welfare grants after the advent of democracy is viewed as one of the factors contributing to the ANC’s entrenched political majority.