Zuma not meeting social development DG - Presidency

2017-03-01 16:49
Sassa CEO Thokozani Magwaza has vowed that the agency will meet payment obligations. (Paul Herman, News24)

Sassa CEO Thokozani Magwaza has vowed that the agency will meet payment obligations. (Paul Herman, News24)

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Cape Town - The social development director general is not meeting President Jacob Zuma to discuss the social grants crisis, the Presidency said on Wednesday.

Director general Zane Dangor on Thursday was excused from the portfolio committee on social development.

Acting committee chairperson Home Malgas announced that he was summoned to Pretoria.

Presidency spokesperson Bongani Ngqulunga said the president did not meet directors general of departments, but only ministers.

"On Sassa or department of social development matters, he speaks to Minister Bathabile Dlamini," Ngqulunga said.

"The minister is keeping the president briefed on developments regarding the Sassa matter. The president is keen that social grant beneficiaries should not be inconvenienced on April 1, 2017."

Dangor said there had been a misunderstanding, and he wasn't summoned to speak to Zuma, but to his spokesperson. He said the hurried way in which he asked to leave the meeting was misunderstood.

"You know when the presidency calls, you've got to answer."

Constitutional Court application

Dangor said the department intended filing a supplementary report with a statement of intent to the Constitutional Court.

This related to the SA Social Security Agency’s application to the Constitutional Court for advice on how to pay millions of social grants recipients from April 1.

Dlamini always supported the statement of intent report, he said in answer to a question from News24.

Sassa withdrew its application less than 24 hours after filing it at 17:00 on Tuesday, because it made a mistake in its papers, spokesperson Paseka Letsatsi said on Wednesday.

Dangor said the absence of current Sassa CEO Thokozani Magwaza had nothing to do with the application being withdrawn.

As far as he knew, Magwaza was ill, and not suspended, as reported in the media, he told News24.

* A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that Dangor had spoken to the president. It was the president' spokesperson. Acting chairperson Hope Malgas announced to the committee that he was summoned to Pretoria.

Read more on:    sassa  |  jacob zuma  |  social grants

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