The revelations today that the Department of Social Development (DSD) allegedly paid the SABC a whopping R500 000 to do a fluff interview with Minister Bathabile Dlamini are astounding. This was allegedly in an attempt to improve the Minister’s already tarnished reputation.
If these allegations are true, the Minister must personally pay back the money.
The R500 000 could have paid more than 300 social grants. It is shocking that the DSD had the audacity to supposedly use public money for an interview. The DSD is mandated to serve the poor, needy and vulnerable within our society, it is not mandated to use taxpayers’ money to make floundering Ministers look good.
Instead of improving her tarnished image, the Minister should be focussing on ensuring a smooth transition when the PostBank finally takes over the electronic payment of social grants on February 1, 2018.
The DA will now submit a range of Parliamentary questions to get to the bottom of this likely abuse of taxpayers’ money. The public deserves to know if the DSD did indeed pay for the interview. If that is the case the Minister must pay back the money personally.
It is clear that Minister Dlamini, like the rest of the ruling ANC, has lost touch with reality, the reality that 17 million South Africans depend on social grants.
The DA has long called for ‘Dodging’ Dlamini to be axed from the DSD. Instead of accounting to Parliament, the Minister chose to instead account to a talk show. The interview was nothing more than a fluff piece which cannot negate the damage Dlamini has done.