President Jacob Zuma has stated with absolute certainty that social grants will be paid out come 1 April.
Zuma was speaking after a meeting of the president’s coordinating council in Pretoria.
The president says he has instructed Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini to prepare a report on the social grant issue.
The president is confident the grants will be paid.
“I have instructed the two ministers to ensure that it happens; there’s nothing that says it shouldn’t happen. If that is the case, you will realise what will happen – because we can’t have old people not getting their money simply because people are busy looking at their own thing. That’s why I’m saying cool down as a country.”
On Thursday, Zuma’s deputy Cyril Ramaphosa moved to reassure the country the looming crisis over the payment of grants to 17 million beneficiaries will be resolved.
Ramaphosa faced a barrage of questions on the issue in the National Assembly, but would not be drawn on whether Dlamini is fit to hold office, saying she serves at the prerogative of the president.
However, Ramaphosa’s answers did little to quell opposition party leaders.
The DA and its members took to the streets to push for the dismissal of Minister Dlamini today taking protests right to the offices of the department of Social Development.
Dlamini’s accountability and reasoning for the delay in appointing a social grant distributor will be closely scrutinised once she appears before the Constitutional Court in the following weeks.