Sassa:  show compassion and do what is right

Nelson Mandela, the father of this nation, taught us to care, and various foundations of care have been formed around his name, and they would never allow, in his name, to have elderly persons subjected to any form of abuse, or neglect.

In the words of Albert Schweitzer: “When you callously ignore the suffering of others, you lose the capacity to share their happiness, too.”

It is also true that we are made kind by being kind, otherwise what would be the value of our own lives if we do not show compassion to others?

When cabinet ministers, who earn millions of rands a year, try to explain away glitches in payment systems that are expected to facilitate the meagre payments to the recipients of social grants, most of whom are pensioners, this should invite not only societal wrath but should also be seen as a betrayal of the notion of a better life for all.

Elderly people are generally, with few exceptions, vulnerable and of poor health. But they are entitled to be treated with dignity. In the main, they do not have adequate resources to take up issues of injustice for themselves.

Even the media conference hosted by the ministers of social development and of communications and other stakeholders such as the officials of Postbank,
offers no comfort to the affected pensioners, many of whom have still not received their grants.

What we as a publication say is that the so-called “system glitches or failures” are nothing new. In our view it reflects serious governance failures embedded in our governance structures. Have we come to the point as a country where we have lost the heart of ubuntu, in the words of the sage we quoted in this leader, of ignoring the suffering of others?

We call on the South African Social Security Agency and Postbank to speedily ensure all grant recipients are paid.

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