The democratic Alliance (DA) seeks explanation from the Minister of Social Development, Bathabile Dlamini, on how food poverty line (FPL) rose by 12.9% from last year, more than double the official rate of inflation.
The party made this demand following report from StatisticSA that South Africa’s semiofficial poverty lines are rising faster than official inflation and more than double the budgeted increase in grants.
The report reflects an increase of the estimated cost of the basic foods people need to buy to meet the 2 100 calorie-a-day threshold that South Africa and many other countries use as a measure of extreme poverty. This inevitably drags more people into officially acknowledged poverty.
In this light, the DA called on StatsSA to present the report before the Portfolio Committee on Social Development, as well as summon Minister of Social Development, Bathabile Dlamini, to answer for the lack of action her department has taken to ensure that social grants increases are suitable to assist those in poverty.
The party also said it would not sit back and allow the Department of Social Development, whose responsibility it is to help poor South Africans, to say that R753 is enough.
“This will only exacerbate the situation and hurt the most vulnerable in our society” it said
The party had few months back, requested that the budget given for social grants be increased by more than R2 billion as a way of covering for the above named inflation. But in reply to this, minister Bathabile Dlamini said Social Grant Beneficiaries should be able to live on R753 per month to buy “adequate food as well as additional non-food items”.
The DA however took Dlamini’s reply as a direct decision by the ruling ANC because they simply don’t care about anyone other than Jacob Zuma
“It is equally telling that, in terms of this very same report, the upper-bound poverty line has increased since last year. This is clear reflection on the state of our economy, and the lack of jobs and opportunities. With more than 8.9 million jobless South Africans, and the economy on the brink of a recession, our government has failed poor South Africans.
Indeed, Jacob Zuma and his ANC are more interested in defending Nkandla and preventing him from answering in court, than growing the economy and creating jobs. The ANC governs like black lives don’t matter and it now needs to stop” the DA stated.
Vote For A DA government
On August 3, South Africans will have the opportunity to have a say on who and which party leads them, however, the DA is hopeful that South Africans would vote for them in order to “change this anti-poor status quo”
The party said this will be a DA government that is in touch with the reality of ordinary South Africans; creates jobs, stops corruption and delivers better services for all. This is the change South Africa needs to fight poverty.