Yet another postponement has been granted to Bathabile Dlamini and her shambolic ministry to sort out the grants payment mess.
How this blatantly inefficient process has been allowed to drag on for more than two years – and in apparent defiance of court rulings – indicates that Dlamini, as a member of Jacob Zuma’s inner circle, is beyond accountability.
But if the payments logistics are not finalised – and finalised quickly – the whole sorry saga could well have disastrous consequences for the ANC.
If the poor and marginalised people – who are the bulk not only of Zuma’s supporters, but also of grant recipients – find their payments late or halted, they could revolt against the ANC at the ballot box.
A number of political analysts have noted that as a very real possibility. That reality, though, is why we believe the crisis will be averted – one way or the other.
The ANC has bought the support of rural and poor people through the grants system and Zuma and his faction in the ANC simply cannot afford to allow it to fail.
The sad fact is that the most vulnerable people in society are being cynically used as pawns in a game of power and enrichment.