ANC and EFF rejected R355 top up for pensioners in SA
We have powers, in terms of the Money Bills Amendment Procedure and Related Matters Act (No. 9 of 2000), to amend the Adjustments Appropriations Bill [B35-2018] in Parliament.
Which is why we proposed five amendments to the Adjustments Appropriation Bill [B35-2018] to support senior citizens, improve road maintenance and improve rail transport in South Africa.
We specifically proposed an amendment to the Adjustments Appropriation Bill [B35-2018] to increase the appropriation of the Department of Social Development [Vote No. 17] by R1.2 billion to provide recipients of the “old-age grant” with a R355 end-of-year “top up”.
We did so following a submission to the finance committee from a forum of women pensioners.
They travelled by road, all the way from Pietermaritzburg, to propose an end-of-year “bonus” because:
“With our pensions we must cover the usual expenses plus the extra expenses of school uniforms, shoes, stationery and extra food because our grandchildren are on holiday and they are always hungry.”
We proposed to fund the amendment to the Adjustments Appropriation Bill [B35-2018] by decreasing the appropriation of the Department of Public Enterprises [Vote No. 9] by R1.2 billion, which was earmarked for the bailout of South African Express Airways.
The fact is that South African Express Airways could be shut down almost immediately, opening space for private-sector operators who do not cost taxpayers billions of rands in bailouts.
We trust that the minister, who strongly supports shutting down South African Airways, will also strongly support shutting down South African Express Airways.
However, after nearly three hours of deliberations at an appropriations committee meeting, which mysteriously did not appear on the “Z-List”, the ANC and EFF voted against our proposal, and rejected the R355 end-of-year “top up” for pensioners.
Shockingly, they turned a deaf ear to the pensioners who must find money for the extra expenses of school uniforms, shoes, stationery and extra food because their grandchildren are on holiday and they are always hungry.
Which was easy for them to do because most members of the governing party who serve on the appropriations committee are pensioners.
But they are receiving a pension equivalent to the salary of a full-time Member of Parliament.
What this proves in the end is that:
- when it came to a choice between supporting pensioners who are struggling to make ends meet and bailing out a zombie state-owned airline, the ANC chose to bail out the zombie state-owned airline; and
- when it came to a choice between supporting pensioners who are struggling to make ends meet and bailing out a zombie state-owned airline, the EFF chose to bail out the zombie state-owned airline.
Which is a disgrace considering how pensioners are battling to make ends meet in South Africa.
Issued by David Maynier, DA Shadow Minister of Finance, 28 November 2018