The 13 million jobless South Africans are begging for help, but their cries have been met with a deafening silence.
By Friday, the South African Social Services Agency (SASSA) had received 13 million applications for the R350 Social Relief Grant.
The agency also stated that only 6.3 million of these applications were properly completed and valid.
The unemployed are facing an unprecedented crisis as they cannot fend for themselves because of the lockdown.
A hard lockdown was imposed at the end of March to curb the spread of COVID-19 while giving the government time to prepare the healthcare system for the expected spike in virus infections.
The past few months under lockdown have revealed that millions of poor South Africans are going hungry and frustration among them is growing by the day.
The reality of prolonged delays in approving applications and non-payment simply means more suffering for the jobless.
The jobless are hungry.
There is a chorus of voices making it noticeably clear that the situation for the poor is dire, but shockingly their calls for help are being met with silence from those in authority.
SASSA is only releasing snippets of information on its Twitter page while it is fully aware that many of the jobless do not have access to the internet.
“June payment dates are yet to be announced. For now, only May payments are being made,” states SASSA on its official Twitter page.
Some of the jobless people who can afford to access Twitter have angrily engaged the agency.
“Mxxm most ppl still have pending status,” Chubelihle wrote on Twitter.
Emmeline wrote sarcastically: “They have apparently rejected over a million applications. So, I honestly don’t have any hope with regard to this pending status.”
Maherbs Sambo added “Today marks a month since I have sent the email. No response from @OfficialSASSA. This was supposed to be a relief grant. Mara why @CyrilRamaphosa?”
Mimi said “SASSA I have not received any money from you. Sassa why y’all lying which people did you pay? Cause everyone who don’t have a bank account opted for ewallet none has received it.”
The agency should ask for assistance if it does not have the capacity to validate the applicants and pay them.
The only thing officials have done is to keep quiet and those who have bothered to provide answers failed to comfort the jobless. For more read: Promised R350 COVID-19 Grant For Jobless Disappoints Millions
Somebody must hear the cries of the jobless and fast-track the payments.
President Ramaphosa, Minister Zulu, and CEO of SASSA need to urgently address the crisis of the jobless.
Malume wa Bantwana summed it up nicely when he tweeted: “SASSA do you want to cause the biggest riot this country has ever seen mara lona? Be competent man! Speed up your process and pay us.”