Dlamini must go - R2K protesters on Sassa debacle

2017-03-13 13:31
Right2Know's General Moyo and Sassa CEO Thokozani Magwaza. Magwaza has assured South Africans that they will receive their sick grant come April 1. (Amanda Khoza, News24)

Right2Know's General Moyo and Sassa CEO Thokozani Magwaza. Magwaza has assured South Africans that they will receive their sick grant come April 1. (Amanda Khoza, News24)

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Pretoria - A small group of Right2Know supporters picketed outside Sassa's head offices in Pretoria on Monday morning.

Their picket was to show solidarity with NGO Black Sash's court application over the payment of the Sassa grants.

Ntombiyebongo Tshabalala said she came because she had to fight for the elderly.

"They cannot fight for themselves. The little children are also depending on the grant for support."

She said the matter was personal because, although she was not a beneficiary, her elderly grandmother was.

"It means that we need to put money in the bank at the end of the month so that she can survive."

Peter Zulu said one of his sisters received a social grant.

"There are always deductions in her grant and we never get an explanation. Sometimes we are short of R20, and this money helps to pay for the children's transport the school."

Eunice Manzoni said: "The money we are getting is not even enough; we need transport money to get our grannies to clinics when they are sick."

Black Sash lodged an urgent application with the Constitutional Court so that it could have oversight of the new agreement before it was a "fait accompli", News24 previously reported.

Right2Know's list of demands included that grants are paid out in full on April 1 and that "unlawful deductions should be stopped".

READ: Everybody will be paid, I stick by it - Sassa CEO

'Flouted her responsibilities'

The organisation is demanding that the department insource the payment of all grants.

"Minister Bathabile Dlamini must go. She has flouted her responsibilities to the poor of the poorest and most vulnerable," reads the memorandum.

The organisation says Dlamini can no longer be trusted.

Black Sash reportedly wants the Constitutional Court to resume its oversight of the processes around the payment of the grants, after Dlamini provided scant details on the proposed extension of the contract to CPS to pay SA Social Security Agency grants.

The matter is expected to be heard in Johannesburg on Wednesday, March 15.

Last Wednesday, the Constitutional Court ordered the department to explain why it would not meet the March 31 deadline to insource social grant payments.

In 2014, the court ruled that the contract with the current social grant distributor, Cash Paymaster Services (CPS), was illegal and invalid. It suspended the order of invalidity until March 31 this year to allow the department and Sassa to insource the administrative requirements to distribute grants.

The fate of more than 17 million beneficiaries hangs in the balance as the Department of Social Department continues to battle to provide clarity over whether how and if it will be able to pay the social grants come April 1.

Sassa CEO Thokozani Magwaza on Monday assured South Africans that the social grants would be paid out on April 1 without any delay.

Read more on:    sassa  |  r2k  |  pretoria  |  social grants

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