ConCourt's grants ruling a victory - DA

2017-03-17 14:11
Bathabile Dlamini (Netwerk24)

Bathabile Dlamini (Netwerk24)

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Cape Town - The Democratic Alliance says the Constitutional Court's ruling on Friday was a victory for social grant beneficiaries.

"The DA welcomes the fact that the 17 million social grants will be paid after March 31, in spite of the astounding 'incompetence' displayed by Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini," DA spokesperson Bridget Masango said.

"What is clear is that the minister has been directly responsible for this crisis."

She called the Constitutional Court's instruction that Dlamini submit an argument by March 31 on why she should not personally pay the legal costs for the process a "damning indictment".

The DA said Dlamini failed spectacularly and has been directly responsible for this crisis, which the party believes she purposefully manufactured to ensure Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) would continue to distribute grants, no doubt for her own personal gain.

"It is now time that President Jacob Zuma immediately fire Dlamini to ensure that she will no longer be able to exert her toxic influence, interfere or block alternative payments methods for the distribution of social grants."

Masango told News24 that the DA was happy that National Treasury has been brought on board to monitor new negotiations with CPS.

She also said that should Dlamini to keep her job, the DA will keep a close eye on her in portfolio committee meetings. She also said the party believes the issue should be a standing agenda item for the next year.

Scopa 'looking forward' to Dlamini explanation

The standing committee on public accounts (Scopa) also welcomed the ruling in a statement on Friday.
Scopa chairperson Themba Godi said the judgment resolves the grant payment crisis that was facing the country and gives practical guidance on the temporary contract to be worked out with CPS.
He said he is happy with the order on the protection of the personal data of grant recipients, which has been "abused by CPS for commercial benefit".

"Scopa is looking forward to hearing from the minister of social development on why she should not be held personally liable for the cost of these proceedings, which could have been avoided had she done her job."
Godi said the judge's 'meticulous and informed' ruling vindicated Scopa in almost all aspects of its argument that the situation was a deliberately self-created crisis.
He thanked civil society organisations that took up the matter with the Constitutional Court in the interests of the most vulnerable in society, and encouraged active citizenry.

ANC caucus to hold officials to account?

The ANC in Parliament was also pleased with the ruling, and said core service delivery functions of the state must be carried out by state institutions and not left to the private sector.

"We reiterate our concern on how this matter was handled," chief whip Jackson Mthembu said in a statement on Friday.

"As the ANC in Parliament, we will take the necessary steps to ensure that those involved in this matter are held accountable for their actions or lack thereof.

"To quote Justice Froneman: 'Accountability is the central value of our democratic system.'"

He praised the court's decision to protect grant beneficiaries' information.

Read more on:    sassa  |  da  |  bathabile dlamini  |  judiciary

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