Ministers reject deal between Sassa and CPS - report

2017-03-13 14:02


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Cape Town - A task team of cabinet ministers has rejected the deal between the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) and Cash Paymaster Services (CPS), the Mail&Guardian reported on Monday.

The deal was supposed to guarantee the payment of social grants come April 1.

On Sunday, the DA released a letter it received from the Department of Social Development confirming that there is still no new contract between the department or Sassa with CPS for the distribution of social grants from April 1.

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

Sassa and CPS had agreed to a two-year, fixed-price contract, earlier this month, new papers before the Constitutional Court show.

But according to the Mail&Guardian, a committee headed by minister in the presidency Jeff Radebe decided the negotiations with CPS "should be terminated and fresh negotiations should start only if and when the national treasury gave its prior written approval" for the deal’s violations of procurement rules, acting Sassa CEO Wiseman Magasela told the Concourt in an affidavit.

The task team included finance minister Pravin Gordhan, state security minister David Mahlobo, home affairs minister Malusi Gigaba, telecommunications minister Siyabonga Cwele, and science and technology minister Naledi Pandor.

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.

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 spokesperson Bongani Ngqulunga in a statement.

Gordhan has accepted an invitation to attend a standing committee on public accounts (Scopa) meeting on Tuesday to discuss the looming social grants crisis.

Scopa confirmed on Friday that it had received a letter from Gordhan indicating his intention to account before the committee this Tuesday.

Read more on:    sassa  |  cps

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