Zuma again assures social grants will be paid on 1 April

President Jacob Zuma was speaking at the Victoria Grounds in King William's Town for the official Human Rights Day commemorations on Tuesday.

FILE: President Jacob Zuma. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG – President Jacob Zuma has reassured South Africans that social grants will be paid by 1 April and that the problems that have been experienced with the matter, have now been resolved.

Zuma was speaking at the Victoria Grounds in King William's Town for the official Human Rights Day commemorations on Tuesday.

The president was joined by his deputy and several other ministers, where Steve Biko was also remembered for his contributions to the struggle 40 years after his death.

Zuma says the sacrifice made by the 69 people killed during the Sharpeville massacre should not be forgotten and the country must take away lessons to prevent history from being repeated.

He says government has done well in its efforts to reduce poverty.

“The child support grants and older persons’ grants are the two largest social grant programmes, with 12 million children and 1.2 million older persons benefiting from the social grants.”

Zuma also used the platform to guarantee to the 17 million social grant recipients, that government would provide come 1 April.

“Let me take this opportunity to once again assure all who receive social grants that they will receive their money at the end of the month.”

Last week, Zuma said while he’s determined to chair the inter-ministerial committee (IMC) to ensure the order of the Constitutional Court on the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) matter is implemented efficiently. He apologised unreservedly to all South Africans.

President Zuma said the government deeply regrets the undue anxiety which resulted from the uncertainty over grant distribution.

The Constitutional Court has extended the current contract with Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) and Sassa for one year to ensure social grant beneficiaries receive money come 1 April, as the current contract expires at the end of March.

The Presidency’s Bongani Ngqulunga said: “President Zuma wants to assure all grants beneficiaries that government will implement the directive of the Constitutional Court and uphold the Constitutional rights of the poor and vulnerable in our society.

“President Zuma said government deeply regrets the undue anxiety that resulted from the uncertainty over grants distribution. He has apologised unreservedly to all South Africans.”

Zuma said he has expanded his IMC to make sure that social grants are monitored and the Constitutional Court's order on the matter is implemented.

But the president said the court has now given clear instructions on the extension of the grants distribution and the parameters within which government must operate.

Zuma’s spokesperson Bongani Ngqulunga said: “The president has directed the IMC on comprehensive social security to ensure that the order of the court is implemented efficiently and diligently in its entirety.”

He added that beyond the court order, the president said the IMC will also focus on comprehensive social security reform.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)