ConCourt to hand down Sassa judgment

2017-03-17 06:31


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Johannesburg – The Constitutional Court will hand down the much anticipated judgment in the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) matter on Friday.

The judgment is expected to be handed down at 10:00.

On Wednesday the court heard an application by the Black Sash for an order that it exercise supervisory jurisdiction over any new contract to pay social grants and its implementation.

During the hearings, a frustrated Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng asked how Sassa and Minister Bathabile Dlamini came to make themselves look incompetent in the social grants payment debacle.

"How do you get to the level where your clients make themselves look like they are incompetent and you can't even explain how you got to this point?" a frustrated Mogoeng Mogoeng asked Andrew Breitenbach, counsel for Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini.

Mogoeng repeatedly pressed Breitenbach for answers about why Dlamini did nothing when she learnt that Sassa would not be able to pay grants on its own.

Ensuring grants got paid was one of Dlamini's core responsibilities. She should have demanded progress reports from Sassa, he insisted.

Proposed contract rejected

The South African Post Office (SAPO) arguing through Aslam Bava, said the state-owned entity was more than capable of rendering services to beneficiaries.

The Post Office applied to be admitted as a friend of the court in the case.

Bava told the court a Post Office technical team had assured him they could take over the payment of grants within a month.

In 2014 the Constitutional Court ruled that the contract Sassa signed with Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) in 2012 was illegal and invalid.

It suspended the order of invalidity until March 31, 2017, to allow the department and Sassa to insource the administrative requirements to distribute grants.

A task team of Cabinet ministers rejected a proposed extension of Sassa's contract with CPS.

On Sunday the Democratic Alliance released a letter it received from the social development department confirming there was still no new contract between the department or Sassa and CPS for the distribution of social grants from April 1.

Read more on:    sassa  |  constitutional court

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