Dept welcomes ConCourt request for grants info

2017-03-08 22:42
Bathabile Dlamini. Picture: Elizabeth Sejake/City Press

Bathabile Dlamini. Picture: Elizabeth Sejake/City Press (Elizabeth Sejake)

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Johannesburg – The department of social development on Wednesday welcomed the Constitutional Court’s request for more information about the social grants crisis. 

Minister Bathabile Dlamini had instructed the SA Social Security Agency (Sassa) to work around the clock to provide the court with the requested information, the department said in a statement.

In instructions issued on Wednesday, the court said it wants to know exactly when it dawned on Sassa that it was not going to have its own grants payment system in place by the time Cash Paymaster Services’ (CPS) contract expires on March 31, 2017. It wants to know who was at fault.

 “We have always contended that the Constitutional Court is best placed to deal with the matter at hand because social assistance in South Africa is a human right enshrined in the Constitution,” the department said.

The department would not oppose the “noble” application by the Black Sash, which essentially seeks to protect the rights of the social grant beneficiaries, the department said. The case would be heard on March 15.

The department welcomed the court’s dismissal of the DA’s “opportunistic application”.

On Sunday, the DA said it wanted to intervene in the Black Sash’s application and ask for a declaratory order from the court confirming that Dlamini, the CEO of Sassa and Sassa, violated their duties.

 “What is very interesting is that the directions the court gave to the minister and Sassa is essentially what the DA was asking for,” DA federal chairperson James Selfe said.

Selfe said the court told them the case could first be heard in a lower court.

“We will obviously be pursuing the matter further in parliament,” he said.

Read more on:    sassa  |  da  |  social grants

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