Revenge for Sassa fiasco will be a dish best served cold

02 March 2017 - 09:27 By The Times Editorial
Image: Supplied

The world has just joined the post-truth party, but South Africa has been enduring the hangover for a while.

Nothing illustrates this more effectively than the countdown to April 1, when fully one-third of the population will be hurled out of poverty and into starvation if the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) cannot come up with a way to pay its social grants.

While officials and ministers duck and dive, and President Jacob Zuma utters facile blandishments, perhaps it is time to peer through the looking glass and speculate on the flavour of post-truth at this particular mad hatter's tea party.

As an amuse-bouche, consider this: Luthuli House might have lost the plot in many areas but it will not easily surrender rural voters so critical to its support base.

  • Sassa grants debacle: Black Sash takes fight to ConCourtNGO Black Sash has asked the Constitutional Court to ensure Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) is used to pay social grants from April 1 after its contract expires‚ but with strict conditions attached to any new deal.

We must assume, therefore, that despite the no-shows at parliament and clashes with the National Treasury, Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini knows exactly how she plans to keep the grants flowing.

On to the starter: why is Dlamini not revealing this plan? The obvious answer is that she is engaged in a game of brinkmanship, planning to unveil the solution so late in the month that it cannot be stopped, even by the Constitutional Court.

Doughty as the court's justices have proved themselves to be, none of them would willingly precipitate an apocalypse.

  • Breaking: Sassa back in courtThe South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) is again being taken to court over the payment of child support and pensioner grants in a last-ditch attempt to ensure South Africans get their grants on April 1.

Now the main course: what's really going on? The answer will lie in following the money. People will get seriously rich out of events that unfold in the next month. Their dreams tonight will be about a life of ease and luxury. When they start splashing the cash, it will be noticed.

Finally, dessert: thanks to caring organisations such as Black Sash and institutions like the judiciary, it will be ice cream. Because revenge - and that is what we must hope for and believe in - is a dish best served cold.