Helen Zille: ‘It’s time the ANC stopped using grants to blackmail poor people’

DA federal council chairperson Helen Zille. File photo.
DA federal council chairperson Helen Zille. File photo.

DA federal council chair Helen Zille has lambasted the ANC, saying it's time the party stopped using social grants to “blackmail poor people” to get votes.

In a lengthy social media post, Zille alleged ANC leaders have been misleading the public by claiming social grants are delivered by the ruling party.

“One of the most outrageous features of the election is to see ANC ministers going around telling poor people their grants come from the ANC. They do not. They come primarily from the 7-million registered personal taxpayers in SA, most of whom do not vote ANC,” said Zille.

“It is time the ANC stopped using grants to blackmail poor people. No person has lost a grant because they voted DA. Indeed, quite the opposite.”

Zille said it was time to call the ruling party's bluff. 

"The more people vote ANC, the poorer they will get. Soon tax money for grants will also run out, when the ANC has finished looting,” she claimed.

Zille's statement comes months after EFF leader Julius Malema expressed his opinion about the return of the R350 social relief of distress grant ahead of the local government elections, saying the timing was suspicious. 

“To confine the extension to the election period seems to be another food parcel programme of the ruling party, implemented by the state,” Malema said.

Last week, the social development department released a report on the progress of the grant payments since it was implemented in 2020. 

According to the report, more than 3.5-million people who are eligible for the grant were not receiving the assistance.

The department said some of the reasons for exclusion included urban bias and a lack of smartphones and digital literacy. 

“The role of technology and its advantages, benefits and shortcomings in social security in SA has been demonstrated and important lessons learned,” said the department.