Black Sash to approach ConCourt over looming social grants deadline

2017-02-28 21:58
Bathabile Dlamini. Picture: Elizabeth Sejake/City Press

Bathabile Dlamini. Picture: Elizabeth Sejake/City Press (Elizabeth Sejake)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Johannesburg - Activist group Black Sash wants the Constitutional Court to compel the SA Social Security Agency (Sassa) and Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini to ensure that grant beneficiaries will still be protected come March 31.

The group will be launching its application through the Centre for Applied Legal Studies, the centre said in a statement on Tuesday.

Due to an urgent situation of Sassa's own making, the agency had no choice but to negotiate another contract with the current service provider, Cash Payment Services (CPS), the centre said. This was because CPS was currently the only entity capable of distributing the grants to more than 17 million South Africans.

"The Black Sash Trust, therefore, is asking the court to ensure that the continued relationship with CPS is based on terms not harmful to, exploitative of, the grant system, its beneficiaries; the personal data of beneficiaries is owned by Sassa; and such data is kept confidential and not used for marketing purposes targeting grant beneficiaries," it said.

Both the centre and the trust expressed their deep concern that the payment of grants may be compromised due to Sassa's failure to ensure that it was ready to take over payment of the grant system by April 1, 2017, or to award a lawful competitive tender timeously, it said.

'Inadequate ministerial oversight'

"The result is that it appears Sassa has no choice but to enter into a further uncompetitive contract with CPS, which may exacerbate the longstanding concern of Black Sash that unlawful deductions are made from grants.

"The emergency situation created demonstrates that the minister of social development does not have adequate oversight over Sassa," it said.

The group also intends making a request to the Constitutional Court, asking that it re-establish its oversight over the process of social grant payments, as well as provide milestones and timelines for both Sassa and the department.

"We can only hope to avoid more harm by ensuring that the contract going forward is not negotiated on terms only favourable to CPS and instead protects the constitutional rights of the people it is meant to benefit," it said.

Earlier on Tuesday, Sassa appeared before Parliament's standing committee on public accounts (Scopa) to report on its proposed extension to the unconstitutional contract with CPS.

Sassa project leader Zodwa Mvulane told the committee that it would not approach the Constitutional Court to ask for an extension on their unlawful contract, but would negotiate a new one.

Read more on:    sassa  |  black sash  |  bathabile dlamini  |  grants

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
Partner Content
How data is changing investments

Technological disruption is rife in many spheres of business and given the quantity of data available, it’s no surprise that the way in which asset managers work is also changing fast.

Behind the sparkle

Alluring, beautiful and timeless - diamonds are some of the most sought after gems in the world and are a true testament of everlasting brilliance. Let us take you behind the sparkle to show you the history behind this coveted jewel.

/News
 

Does your dog have separation anxiety?

We've got tips, advice and how to help your dog

 
 

Paws

Fascinating facts about dogs
Perfectly captured cat snapchats!
Out with the old dog, in with the new
Play with your pet when you're not at home
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.