Cape Town - The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) said on Wednesday the announcement by the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) that it is unable to take over social grant payments from April 1 is politically motivated.
The Constitutional Court instructed the Department of Social Development in 2014 to insource the distribution of all grants by April 1. Cash Paymaster Services (CPF) and Net1 were awarded the tender to distribute social grants in 2012.
"We [believe] the decision to delay setting up processes within Sassa to pay for social grants was a carefully manipulated decision by the corrupt clique surrounding the leadership of the ANC to continue looting state resources," the EFF said in a statement.
"We know for a fact that there are senior ANC leaders with close ties to CPS who stand to benefit from the extension of the contract."
The EFF called on Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini to step down.
"[We] repeatedly asked the Department of Social Development in 2016 if Sassa would be ready to take over the mammoth task of distributing grants to the more than 17 million social grant recipients by the 1st of April 2017, and we were always assured that this would be the case," the statement reads.
"We were therefore shocked to hear at the meeting of the portfolio committee on social development today [Thursday] that Sassa and the department have no plan on the table."
Sassa told the portfolio committee that it would approach the Constitutional Court to extend the deadline for insourcing by one year.
In the statement the EFF said if the Constitutional Court refuses to grant the extension those who depend on social grants for their livelihood will be severely compromised.