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By Kekeletso Nakeli

Columnist


Social grants necessary, but not everyone deserves it

There’s an issue of dependency that has reared its ugly head and is seemingly growing every year.


The South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) is seen as a lifeline for many households.

These social grants are used to help families put food on the table.

We must, however, admit that in other instances, these grants are received by people who do not deserve them – they are seen as pocket money, hair salon funds and funding for a night out at taverns or clubs.

A while ago, a friend and I were in a long queue at a grocery store.

ALSO READ: Penalties, glitches: Post Office failed to deliver, says Sassa on social grant payments

We were so happy to find another queue where there were only four people in it. While we waited, a shop assistant told us the queue was only for Sassa withdrawals.

What springs to mind about that short queue was the beautiful hairstyles and clothing those people spotted.

Not to say when you get a social grant you are meant to be unkempt, but are some of the recipients really as deserving as they pretend to be?

I know at least three people who have jobs but still get a grant for their children. I also know someone who was getting a child support grant for a child that did not even live with them.

To the ones who are employed, the grant may seem insignificant.

But consider how many people receive it and how many mothers leave their cards with loan sharks, along with their identity documents.

Currently, there are about 29 million recipients but how many of those deserve the grant and how many are just abusing a system aimed at helping the poor?

One fact, though, is that the welfare system is overloaded with people who do not deserve to be recipients of social assistance.

READ MORE: SRD grant extended but what happened to basic income grant (BIG)?

While there are those who desperately need the help, yet cannot access it.

Children as young as 14 are often heard shouting at their parents that they want “their” money because, ultimately, the child grant is meant for them.

There’s an issue of dependency that has reared its ugly head and is seemingly growing every year.

We’ve allowed the system to be abused by people who feel entitled to a helping hand that they do not deserve.

After the budget speech, we can only guess how much more the economy will carry and what lifeline is given to the recipients.