Grants situation 'could have been dealt with much better' - ANC

2017-03-17 13:19
Zizi Kodwa (Herman Verwey, Netwerk24)

Zizi Kodwa (Herman Verwey, Netwerk24)

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Cape Town – The ANC on Friday welcomed the Constitutional Court's ruling on the social grants crisis, and said the situation could have been better handled.

"The situation could have been avoided. This could have been dealt with much better. It has created unnecessary anxiety for the most vulnerable in society," spokesperson Zizi Kodwa told News24.

"Somebody did not do what he or she should have done."

He said the issue was not whether or not people would get paid, but the legality and lawfulness of that payment.

The court on Friday ordered the SA Social Security Agency (Sassa) and Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) to continue paying social grants until another entity could be found to do so.

The invalidity of the previous contract between Sassa and CPS would be suspended for 12 months from April 1.

Kodwa said government, Sassa and the social development department had to immediately initiate a competitive bidding process to comply with the court’s order. Sassa had to develop the internal capacity to deliver the grants itself, he said.

'The minister must comply'

There was no need for the party to express an opinion about Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini, he said.

"The court is clear on the minister. It does not have to be a view of the party. The minister has to comply with the court order."

The court ordered her to submit an affidavit explaining why she should not personally have to pay for the legal costs incurred in bringing the matter to court. She had until March 31 to do so.

Kodwa said the party needed to look at how it arrived at this "precipitous" point.

"We must never allow ourselves to be held hostage by a private company, that we don't have any option except to allow a company to have a gun to our head. That is why [a] competitive bidding process is quite important."

The court ordered that the terms and conditions in the previous contract continue to apply. If CPS wanted to renegotiate terms, including how much it got paid, it had to do so through National Treasury.

He said the court would get to the bottom of who was responsible, with its order that those involved file supplementary affidavits.

Read more on:    sassa  |  cps  |  anc  |  constitutional court  |  bathabile dlamini  |  zizi kodwa  |  cape town  |  politics  |  grants

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