Sassa failure to appoint new service provider 'gross mismanagement'

(Supplied)
(Supplied)

Cape Town - A total of 1.5 million grant recipients in the Western Cape will be in limbo should Sassa not get its house in order, Social Development MEC Albert Fritz said on Tuesday.

He intended writing to Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini for feedback on what emergency steps she would put in place to ensure recipients got paid on April 1.

Nationally about 17 million beneficiaries are at risk of not getting paid when Cash Paymaster Services’ illegal contract with the department ends on March 31.

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan had proposed that banks and the post office distribute the funds.

Dlamini previously said failure to pay out on the day would be "disastrous".

In 2014, the Constitutional Court declared the contract with CPS invalid, but suspended the invalidity order. Sassa was given until March 31 this year to find a new distributor or take over the grant system.

The SA Social Security Agency (Sassa) appeared before Parliament’s standing committee on public accounts (Scopa) on Tuesday to account for its proposed extension to the illegal arrangement with CPS.

Sassa project lead Zodwa Mvulane told the committee they would not extend the contract, but rather wanted a new contract, with new terms.

Social development deputy director-general Zane Dangor said if talks with CPS were to fall through, plan B would be to deposit money directly into special bank accounts, with permission from the banks.

Fritz said Sassa indicated it would only begin this process on March 1, giving itself only 31 days to complete the “mammoth task” of appointing a new service provider.

Until then, grant recipients would not know if they would be paid on time.

“It is clear that Sassa finds itself in a self-created crisis, for which Minister Dlamini must take full responsibility.”

Fritz said Sassa had kept provincial departments in the dark about the matter, and he had received no communication from the national ministry either.

Sassa’s failure to appoint a new service provider three years after the Constitutional Court’s ruling was “gross mismanagement”.

“Swift action must be taken if we are to avoid a national crisis,” he said.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
Will you continue to use WhatsApp following the company announcing a change terms of service which would force users to share personal data?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes, the terms of service do not bother me enough to switch
52% - 7598 votes
No, I will be switching over to a new service
44% - 6346 votes
I've never used WhatsApp
4% - 584 votes
Vote
ZAR/USD
15.16
(+0.35)
ZAR/GBP
20.59
(+0.35)
ZAR/EUR
18.31
(+0.31)
ZAR/AUD
11.65
(+0.45)
ZAR/JPY
0.15
(+0.16)
Gold
1836.87
(+1.31)
Silver
24.93
(+2.22)
Platinum
1080.34
(+1.60)
Brent Crude
54.81
(0.00)
Palladium
2375.99
(-0.00)
All Share
63713.87
(+0.26)
Top 40
58548.17
(+0.17)
Financial 15
11904.46
(-0.10)
Industrial 25
84813.75
(+1.20)
Resource 10
63219.33
(-1.00)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes morningstar logo