In a speech in parliament on Wednesday, DA MP David Maynier expressed his shock at the fact that ANC and EFF had turned down a proposal to give pensioners a bit more money at the end of the year, apparently preferring instead to spend the money on and a poorly managed and unprofitable airline.
The DA had called for an amendment to the Adjustments Appropriation Bill to "support senior citizens, improve road maintenance and improve rail transport".
WATCH: @DavidMaynier exposeing the ANC and EFF for having voted against the R355 end-of-year "top up" grant for pensioners.
When it came to a choice between supporting pensioners and bailing out SA Express by R1.2 billion, ANC & EFF chose to bail out SA Express. pic.twitter.com/aZ3jjnTD96
– Democratic Alliance (@Our_DA) November 28, 2018
Maynier said that an increase of R1.2 billion for the department of social development would have provided recipients of so-called old-age grants with a R355 end-of-year "top up", something he said many in society desperately needed.
"We did so after a submission to the finance committee from a forum of women pensioners."
He quoted them as saying: "With our pensions we must cover the usual expenses plus the extra costs of school uniforms, shoes, stationery and extra food because our grandchildren are on holiday and they are always hungry."
He said the extra money could have come from R1.2 billion apparently already earmarked for the bailout of SA Express Airways.
"The fact is that South African Express Airways could be shut down almost immediately, opening space for private-sector operators who did not cost taxpayers billions of rands in bailouts.
"We trust that the minister [of finance, Tito Mboweni], who strongly supports shutting down South African Airways, will also strongly support shutting down South African Express Airways. "
However, Maynier said that ANC and EFF members had voted against the proposal for a R355 end-of-year "top-up" for pensioners after nearly three hours of deliberations at a budget committee meeting.
"They were shocked, they turned and deaf ear to the pensioners … which was easy for them to do, because most members of the governing party who serve the budget committee are pensioners. But they are entitled to a pension equivalent to the salary of a full-time member of the parliament. "
He concluded that "when ANC and EFF chose to bail out the zombie state-owned airline," he said, "when it comes to a choice between supporting pensioners who are struggling to make ends meet and bail out a zombie state-owned airline."
In addition, EFF, which promised to double social grants in its election campaign, failed to back what was essentially a Christmas bonus for the poor and vulnerable in South Africa.
Is it part of the election campaign to double all grants? (talk about buying votes) So why would they vote against a small xmas bonus? A pension (> 65) should be a liveable wage for everyone, no strings attached.
– odgewalker (@odgewalker) November 28, 2018
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