Social grants will disappear if corrupt ANC is re-elected – John Steenhuisen

DA leader says SA is running out of revenue, due to ruling party corruption and mismanagement

Social grants will disappear if the corrupt ANC is re-elected

9 January 2024

ANC corruption poses an existential threat to the continued payment of social grants to millions of vulnerable South Africans. Yesterday, the party’s cowardly President, Cyril Ramaphosa, told a lie with his claim that social grants were “likely to disappear” when the ANC loses the fast-approaching 2024 election.

The truth is the exact opposite of Ramaphosa’s claim, which reeks of growing desperation as the ANC realises that it has as little as five months left in government. The single greatest threat to the sustainability of our country’s social grants system, is Ramaphosa’s ANC. For nearly three decades, they have looted and pillaged the public resources required to continue funding social grants. As the money runs out, the ANC has already been forced to cut the budget for critical services like education and healthcare.

In fact, due to incessant ANC looting, Ramaphosa’s government is already dismantling social grants. The child support grant – which accounts for 71% of all expenditure on grants – has dramatically declined in real terms over the past decade. Year-after-year, the ANC has increased this grant by as little as 2% per year, while inflation has averaged 5.2% over the past ten years. The ANC has thus been systematically cutting the Child Support Grant by up to 3 percentage points per year for at least a decade.

Researchers at the University of Cape Town recently confirmed that the ANC’s 2023 budget “is taking from the mouths of babies…After years of below inflation increases, the child support grant has fallen to 72% of the official food poverty line. The planned 2023 increase of only R10 represents a 2% increase in the grant amount…It will be substantially below inflation. Food inflation year-on-year was 12% by 3 September 2022. The grant will buy less, and the gap between the grant and the food poverty line will widen further.”

It is therefore rich that Ramaphosa – the same person whose government is actively cutting social grants to the poor because his party has looted the fiscus to near-bankruptcy – would use the vital lifeline of grants for dishonest political fearmongering.

In reality, the only way to protect social grants from disappearing into the morass of ANC corruption, is for South Africans to elect a new government anchored by the DA. Bringing into national government the DA’s demonstrated track record of good governance and prudent financial management is the only way to end the corruption that poses an existential threat to the 30 million people still living in poverty under the ANC. While Ramaphosa is actively cutting grants, the DA’s recently-revised Social Development Policy commits a DA government to instead cutting corruption and waste in order to increase the child support grant up to the food poverty line, from R510 to R760 per month, without increasing government debt by even one cent.

This is the type of win-win economics that will ensure a sustainable social grants system for all who need it, which only the DA can deliver.

Social grants are not immune to ANC corruption. Their looting has already destroyed the electricity system, increased unemployment, collapsed basic services and hollowed-out institutions like the police. Unless the people of South Africa replace the ANC with a new government anchored by the DA to restore good governance and public finances, social grants will be the next critical service to collapse at the hands of ANC corruption.

To rescue the social grants system from collapse due to ANC corruption, the DA calls on all South Africans to visit today to ensure that they are registered to vote.

Issued by John Steenhuisen, DA leader, 9 January 2024