So I thought I would elaborate a little further, so there’s no confusion about what I meant.
Firstly, there are obviously very legitimate reasons for some people to receive social grants, like the elderly for example, and those who are living with severe mental and physical ailments.
Obviously they are excluded from the comments I made and am about to highlight again.
I believe in a social state, in the sense that government takes primary responsibility for things like education, healthcare and social security for the masses.
It goes without saying that in order to do that effectively, government also needs a large portion of society to have jobs and pay taxes, so they can fund those responsibilities.
In addition to that, I believe as citizens it is our responsibility to constantly work towards minimal reliance on those systems, so that those who need it the most, can get maximum benefit.
In other words, I don’t believe being on a SASSA grant should be considered a desirable source of income, unless you fall into the categories I mentioned above.
If ever I should find myself unemployed for a lengthy period of time, I would want the state to supply me with an income, until I can find another job.
But it should be my duty to exhaust myself daily in serious search of such a job.
I should take pride in being financially independent and being able to pay my own way all of the time.
And that is where I find many people have lost the plot.
Instead of taking pride in independence, they are proud of the fact that they live their lives on government handouts.
Whether it be a house, a monthly grant or chronic medication, many people feel that it is their right to get it for free and without any hiccups.
In fact, they are the ones most likely to complain about the long queues at the clinic, or the fact that they have been on a housing waiting list for years.
Often it doesn’t even strike them that if they had a job (or better still, a career), then they would have been able to buy a house with their own money in half the time.
It’s also the same people who tend to spend their spare cash on non-essentials, like branded clothing and shoes and car rims.
It is the lack of ambition and complete reliance on government that I am criticising; the generational handout culture that has become a way of life in many coloured communities. It is that mindset that results in us being the hardest hit during an economic crisis like the one we are facing.
Because we often work the menial jobs, we are most likely to be the first ones to be retrenched.
And for those who are permanently unemployed, their very survival depends on food parcels, emergency grants and NGO relief.
Equipping yourself with the skills to live independently while having the resources to survive in times of crisis, must be a priority.
My hope is that this lockdown has been a wake-up call that we can’t continue living these financially helpless lives.