Letter reveals CPS, Sassa have not signed new contract - DA

2017-03-12 17:00
(Supplied)

(Supplied)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Johannesburg - In the Social Development Department’s latest bid on Sunday to defend itself in the social grants scandal, it highlighted the current system's benefits for clothing and vegetable sellers.

This as the DA released a letter it received from the department confirming that there is still no new contract between the department or Sassa with Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) for the distribution of social grants from April 1.

"With less than three weeks until the invalid contract with CPS is set to expire, this confirmation is a damning indictment on the devastating inability by the Minister of Social Development, Bathabile Dlamini, to ensure that 17 million poor and vulnerable South Africans will receive their grants next month," said DA MP Bridget Masango in a statement.

The letter was in response to an application by the DA in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act.

Social Development departmental spokeswoman Lumka Oliphant did not respond to requests for comment on the DA statement.

The future of more than 17 million people hangs in the balance as the Department of Social Development continues to try and find a solution to the grants payment saga by the March 31 deadline.

The Constitutional Court last Wednesday asked for the department and the South African Social Security Agency to urgently provide it with clarity.

The court wants information including when exactly it dawned on Sassa that it was not going to have its own grants payment system in place by the time a contract with CPS expires on March 31. 

Capacity

The five-year contract with CPS was found by the Constitutional Court in 2014 to be invalid. Sassa later told the court it would internally take over payments by 2017.

However, it has since become clear the agency does not have the capacity to conduct this and it has turned to trying to renegotiate with CPS – a move treasury does not support.

On Sunday, Oliphant was asked whether the social development department would respond to the Constitutional Court’s latest request for information.

Oliphant replied with a text message quoting the court papers that stipulated the deadline of "16h00 Monday, 13 March 2017" for the department’s affidavits to be filed.

Oliphant did not respond to further queries from News24 as to whether this meant the department would indeed comply with this directive.

However, on Sunday, Oliphant did release to all media, answers originally given to questions by the Sunday Times.

She explained that the minister was against using banking infrastructure as it would require "beneficiaries to travel approximately 222km to receive their social grant instead of the 5km stipulated in the norms and standards" by Sassa.

Amongst other concerns, she said moving the administration to banks would "destroy the economic activity that pay points provide to the rural areas".

'Economic hub'

"Not only do we service more than three million people at these sites, we have created an economic hub for those living there. On any given payday, these points are a service hub of activity, where communities gather to sell their wares, ranging from fresh produce, vegetables, clothes etc."

Oliphant said that the minister’s stand was "hitting the nerve of the white establishment".

Meanwhile, the Presidency weighed in on the situation after reports emerged on Sunday that President Jacob Zuma’s special advisor Michael Hulley had attended meetings with the minister and other Sassa officials about the payments of grants.

"The Presidency is not aware of the said meetings," said presidential spokesman Bongani Ngqulunga in a statement.

Oliphant also commented on the reports. “This alleged meeting and involvement of Mike Hulley… We are not certain how it now adds to the noise," she said in a statement.

Civil society organisation R2K announced over the weekend that it would protest outside the Sassa head offices in Pretoria on Monday.

"Sassa must account for their delays and for their plans to ensure all grants are paid on time and fully – with no more deductions from external companies," the organisation said in a statement.

Media monitoring organisation ROiAfrica reported that nearly a third of all national news stories this week dealt with the grants contract saga.

 

Read more on:    sassa  |  da  |  cps

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
ADVERTORIAL
Competition regulation for a growing and inclusive economy

ADVERTORIAL: The Competition Commission of South Africa is conducting advocacy work in the South African automotive aftermarket industry and has gazetted a Draft Code of Conduct for public comment.

/News
 

10 gorgeous plus-sized models who aren't Ashley Graham

Here are just ten of our favourite plus-sized models:

 
 

You won't want to miss...

WATCH: Pornhub is giving users free access to premium content these holidays
5 top leg exercises for men
10 best dressed men of 2017
How to open a beer bottle without an opener
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.