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Load shedding pounces as Lindiwe Zulu sheds light on grants

Rolling blackouts wreak havoc

Mpho Koka Journalist
Load shedding pounces as Lindiwe Zulu sheds light on grants. File photo
Load shedding pounces as Lindiwe Zulu sheds light on grants. File photo
Image: Trevor Samson

“Oh No!”

This was the shock expression from Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu when she experienced load shedding while conducting a virtual interview with seasoned SABC journalist Vuyo Mvoko.

Last night, Zulu, speaking from an undisclosed location in Johannesburg, appeared on The Watchdog, a new SABC News public service weekly show hosted by Mvoko, to discuss her department’s role in fighting high levels of poverty.

Half an hour into their discussion, while trying to shed light on how her ministry performed on a scale of one to five in the payment of the R350 social relief of distress (SRD) grant to unemployed people, Zulu suddenly found herself in darkness.

“I would rate it at four and I would tell you why I would rate it at four. We are dealing with something that we only had two weeks to implement. When president Cyril Ramaphosa announced the SRD R350, we had no system whatsoever to implement it. This was very different from all the grants that we deliver to our people. People had to apply online and get approved online. No one went to a Sassa office to apply for this money,” said Zulu.

So far so good until this happened.

“So we needed to put systems in place and make sure from May [last year] at the time this announcement was made, and the other complication was that in order to be able to pay people, Oh No,” a horrified Zulu grumbled.

Mvoko intervened. 

“Okay. We seem to be having a problem there. Let’s hope it has nothing to do with load shedding and we will get the minister back,” said Mvoko.

A few seconds later, Zulu was back in the limelight.

“Sorry. That was load shedding. My sincere apologies. Yes, we back again,” said a smiling Zulu.

Yesterday Eskom moved rolling power blackouts from stage 2 to stage 4 from 2pm to 10pm.  

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