Dlamini to face Scopa over grants crisis

By Drum Digital
07 March 2017

Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini is expected to face Parliament’s standing committee on public accounts on Tuesday, to discuss the impending social grants crisis

Cape Town – .

On Monday, SA Social Security Agency (Sassa) project leader Zodwa Mvulane told reporters that they had entered into a new contract with Cash Paymaster Services (CPS).

“We do not have to go to court to request an extension. But we will go to court to explain ourselves,” she said.

In April 2014, the Constitutional Court instructed the Department of Social Development to take over the payments of grants by the end of March 2017, after it found irregularities in the appointment of CPS, the company responsible for grants distribution. It declared the contract invalid, but suspended the order until a new arrangement had been made.

Failure to come to an arrangement could leave 17 million people without their only source of income.

The department, Sassa, and CPS said on Friday that they had reached an agreement.

On Saturday, the department’s director general Zane Dangor resigned. He told News24 there had been a breakdown in his relationship with Dlamini, due to disagreements about Sassa's legal obligations to the Constitutional Court.

At the time, Scopa chairperson Themba Godi lamented the loss of an "honest" worker.

"He was one of the many officials in the department and in Sassa who have been frustrated by Minister Bathabile Dlamini’s heavy-handed interference in Sassa’s administrative matters," he said.

Dlamini walked out of a media briefing on Sunday, when eNCA reporter Karyn Maughan pressed her for more details on how grant recipients would be paid. She told supporters on Monday that the black reporters there worked diligently, but the “others” seemed to have their own agenda.

On March 15, the Constitutional Court would hear an application by the Black Sash for the court to once again assume an oversight role over the grants system and for details of the latest agreement to be made available.

Source: News24

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