Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan says that social grants will be paid on
1 April and that a new Ministerial Task Team has been established to
resolve the impasse over the payment of social grants.
GORDHAN: We’ve two legal opinions which say very clearly because that tender
has been declared unlawful, any extension will also be unlawful.
If you want to do anything with that tender, go back to the Constitutional Court
and obtain their permission.
Speech delivered in Parliament Tuesday by the DA’s Shadow Minister of Social Development, Bridget Masango MP, during the debate on the SASSA crisis.
Last week, I submitted a PAIA application for the contract between the Department of Social Development and Net1/Cash Paymaster Services for the distribution of 17 million social grants to the poorest of the poor in our country.
The response was that there IS NO contract between CPS and the South African Social Security Agency.
With two and a half weeks to go until the current invalid contract with CPS expires – and no alternate plan on the to ensure grants will be paid – this is an unbelievable example of recklessness and the hopeless inability of Social Development Minister Dlamini who has put the livelihoods of millions of our people at risk.
It is now blatantly clear that she has done all in her power to avoid having to produce any contract for the Constitutional Court’s scrutiny and possible adverse comment, something that Net1/CPS has openly admitted they wish to avoid. It is also clear as day that this minister is desperate to ensure that CPS keeps this lucrative contract at all costs.
The DA warned of this impending crisis in June and October last year. Yet the Minister did nothing. That is why the DA have repeatedly called for her to be fired and do so again today.
The CEO of SASSA, Thokozani Magwaza, told the media that Minister Dlamini blocked all his efforts to report back to the Constitutional Court – which she was obliged to do – about the payment of social grants and that she personally interfered when he tried to find a solution to the crisis.
When the agency was about to petition the court for guidance early last month, she issued eleventh-hour instructions to block the process. She has desperately and determinedly ensured that there is no communication with the highest court in the land on an issue which affects millions and millions of our poorest of the poor.
The same CEO was booked into hospital due to stress and has been off sick for two weeks, AND, according to reports, his acting CEO, Thamo Mzobe, was also hospitalised with the same condition. And, last week, Social Development Director General, Zayn Dangor, resigned.
What we have here is a case of honest officials – and there are many of them – coming head to head with the truly ominous agenda of the minister, and indeed the president, to keep this corrupt contract at all costs.
To be playing games like this, with 17 million South Africans, at this critical stage is scandalous and should see her removed immediately.
The whole country is seized with this crisis. The DA will not rest until we get to the bottom of this sorry saga. We will not rest until we have answers and accountability.
The Constitutional Court will Wednesday hear the Black Sash application to seek reinstatement of the court’s oversight role in the payment of social grants.