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REVEALED: People living with disabilities without Identity Documents struggling to access social grants

Wednesday, 3rd March, 2021

MBABANE: Sipho Dlamini, the President of the Federation of Organisations of the Disabled in Eswatini (FODSWA) said some people living with disabilities can’t access social grants due to the lack of Identity Documents.

Speaking to this Swaziland News on Wednesday, the FODSWA President appealed to government to at least meet them half way in ensuring that all disabled persons acquire Identity Documents (IDs) so they can all have access to social grants.

“The Ministry of Home Affairs should at least meet us half way, they should at least come to our chiefdoms to help us register for our IDs. It’s difficult for the disabled to reach the towns and cities where these services are currently offered and most of them end up losing out on these social grants. Having an Identity Document is a fundamental right, besides having access to social grants these document can help our people to even register for their businesses so they can make a living”, said the FODSWA President.

Princess Lindiwe, the Minister of Home Affairs had not responded to our questionnaire at the time of compiling this report.

When reached for comments, Sibongile Mazibuko, the President of the Ngwane National Liberatory Congress (NNLC) said government was intentionally denying the disabled people their right to social grants.

“The disabled people are only a statistic that government is using to secure funds from international donors but these funds do not reach the actual beneficiaries. It is difficult even for an able bodied individual to obtain an ID in this country, government is doing this intentionally so they can restrict the donated funds from reaching the people. Government inflates the budget for social grants but when it comes to implementing it, they restrict the access to the funds so that the money can be channelled to the royal family”, she said.

On 26 February 2021, Neal Rijkenberg,  the Minsiter of finance announced a E 746.8 million budget for social grants including a E 10 million increase for disability grants. An dditional 3000 of people living with disabilities is expected to benefit from the grants.

REVEALED: People living with disabilities without Identity Documents struggling to access social grants
FODSWA President Sipho Dlamini