Constitutional court ruling on CPS extension widely welcomed

2018-03-24 14:43
(Supplied)

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Various political and civil society groups have reacted to the decision taken by the Constitutional court on Friday to allow Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) to continue distributing social grants - by another six months - to beneficiaries who receive their grants in cash.

Around 2.8 million beneficiaries - roughly 26% of the scheme, receive their grants in cash.

In a statement, the Inkatha Freedom Party said it had taken note of the ruling.

“It is truly shocking and unforgivable that due to years of maladministration and the sheer incompetence of the former Minister of Social Development Bathabile Dlamini, in handling the grant payment system, that the highest court in the land has once again been apparently forced to approve the extension of this unlawful contract,” said IFP spokesperson on Social Development, Liezl van der Merwe.

The party also welcomed the court’s order that Dlamini and Sassa acting CEO Pearl Bhengu should explain why they should not be held liable for the legal costs, in their personal capacities.

The court has given them an April 16 deadline to explain, via affidavits, why they should not be asked to personally foot the bill.

“It is now our hope, that the Constitutional Court will find the former Minister personally liable for the grant crisis she clearly manufactured to favour CPS”, van der Merwe said.

DA Shadow Minister of Social Development, Bridget Masango, said in a statement that it is an indictment on SASSA that its affairs had to be overseen by the courts.

“The truth is that SASSA never had any contingency plans in place in the event the Constitutional Court refused this application. SASSA has essentially held a gun to the head of the Constitutional Court leaving it with no other option but to extend the unlawful contract with the parasitic CPS,” she said.

On Friday morning, the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria also ordered CPS to pay back R316m, with interest, to Sassa. 

This relates to money Sassa paid to CPS in 2014 when it claimed it enrolled more grant recipients and beneficiaries than it had been contracted to provide services for.

The ruling was hailed by both the IFP and the South African National Civic Organisation (SANCO).

Sanco National spokesperson, Jabu Mahlangu said that corruption represents a bleed of the economy that needs to be attended to and immediately stopped.

“It has eroded public confidence in our democracy and should thus be prioritised to reclaim public institutions from institutionalised corruption syndicates, entrench the rule of law, fair administrative justice and prudent financial management,” he said.

Read more on:    sassa  |  cps  |  bathabile dlamini

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