CPS: No reason why social grant payment deal shouldn’t be signed
In 2014 the Constitutional Court ruled that the deal with CPS was invalid and the Social Development Department was required to find a new company.
JOHANNESBURG – Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) say there’s no reason why a deal shouldn’t be signed with the Social Development Ministry so that social grant payments can be made on 1 April.
Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini remains adamant that talks are set to begin shortly with CPS to negotiate a new contract.
About 17 million South Africans are dependent on social grants and questions have been raised about whether they will be paid.
In 2014, the Constitutional Court ruled that the deal with CPS was invalid and the department was required to find a new company or means to distribute the grants.
However, the contract was allowed to run until the end of this month.
On Sunday, acting CEO of South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) Thamo Mzobe claimed there was no deal.
“And the signing of contract will entail the deliverables and the cost structure, therefore, there’s no deal in this regard that has been finalised. We’re still going to follow our internal processes that will lead to the conclusion of this process.”
CPS CEO Serge Belamant says, “I really don’t see any reason whatsoever why the deal should not now be signed by both parties and I can assure you that we’re ready to pay on 1 April.”
Meanwhile, CPS says it is certain nobody can take over the grant distribution process in time for the next payouts.
Social Development has also said that they are considering other channels such as the Post Office to distribute grants
However, Belamant says that is just not possible.
“The processes are not present at the 10,000 pay points where we actually operate, which is very important because that pays around 3.5 to 4 million people. So all the processes they can take over, the answer is very simple; they can’t.
“So I’m not too sure when people talk about they can do this, they can do that. There’s no one today except CPS that can provide this services.”
GUPTAS IN THE WINGS?
Meanwhile, former African National Congress (ANC) Member of Parliament (MP) Vytjie Mentor claims South Africa’s social grants system is destined to end up in the hands of the Gupta family unless urgent intervention is taken.
Mentor released a statement over Dlamini’s attempt to ease fears over grants not being paid to beneficiaries come 1 April.
The State Capture whistle-blower has joined a myriad of voices lambasting Dlamini for how she has been handling the social grants crisis.
On her Facebook page, Mentor states she has learnt from reliable sources that a Gupta family-owned company will be appointed at the '11th hour' to distribute the grants.
She adds they will also be responsible for the biometric cards.
(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)