'Cool down', says Zuma over Sassa crisis

'Cool down', says Zuma over Sassa crisis

President Jacob Zuma has urged South Africans to remain calm over the payment of social grants on April 1. 

Jacob Zuma_jacanews
Photo: Samkelo Maseko

There is widespread concern, as the Department of Social Development and the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) have yet to announce the signing of an agreement with a service provider to ensure the payment of grants beyond March 31. 


More than 17 million beneficiaries will be left penniless unless an agreement is reached by the end of March.


President Jacob Zuma told journalists, following a presidential coordinating council meeting with ministers, mayors and premiers at the Union Building, that people will receive their money.


"I have instructed the two ministers to ensure that it happens. There is nothing that says it should not happen. If that is the case, you will realise what will happen, what we will do to those who were supposed to do it who might not do it. We cannot have old people not getting their money simply because people are looking at whatever. That must happen. I just want to say cool down as a country. Old people will get their grants," says President Zuma.

President Zuma questioned how people could call for Social Development Minister Bathabile's head before the deadline.


"Before I left for Indonesia, I called the two ministers - the Minister of Social Development and the Minister of Finance - to say they must work out a solution and when I come back I must get a report. That is what I am waiting for," says President Zuma.


Meanwhile, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan is expected to appear before Parliament's Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) next week.


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