Sassa wants Public Protector or Auditor General to oversee CPS agreement and not ConCourt

2017-03-13 19:14
(Supplied)

(Supplied)

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Johannesburg - The South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) has asked the Constitutional Court to allow the Public Protector and the Auditor General, or an institution chosen by the court, to jointly monitor the terms and implementation of the interim contract between the agency and Cash Paymaster services (CPS).

This is contained in heads of arguments filed electronically with the court on Monday afternoon. 

The Constitutional Court last Wednesday asked for the Social Development Department and Sassa to urgently provide it with clarity on the matter.

Sassa says in the documents that the court would have a copy of the interim contract within 20 days of its signing.

It argues that determining the value and duration of the contract is not within the ambit of the court.

"Doing that would fall outside the parameters of judicial authority contemplated by the separation of powers," the papers say.

"It is not normally the function of the court to make a contract or the key terms of a contract for the parties, even if one of them is an organ of the state."

Also read: Ministers reject deal between Sassa and CPS - report

The papers go on to say that justice and equity do not require the Court to determine in advance the terms (regarding price and duration) through which Sassa and CPS may contract with one another.

Sassa says in the papers that between March 1 and March 3 it held negotiations with CPS and an agreement was reached in principle but was subject to approval from Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini and National Treasury.

The heads of arguments come after stern questions from the Constitutional Court last week and applications by several non-governmental organisations concerned about an impending crisis on April 1, a day after the CPS contract ends.

The current contract with CPS was declared unlawful and invalid in 2014 after it was found that the tender process was irregular.

Also read: ConCourt's stern questions to Sassa over grants

Read more on:    public protector  |  sassa  |  auditor general  |  cps

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