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Sassa, Dlamini call on Public Protector, AG to monitor interim contract

Sassa wants the Public Protector and the Auditor General to monitor 'the terms and implementation of the interim contract' to be signed with CPS.

FILE: Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini appeared before Parliament's Standing Commitee on Public Accounts (Scopa) to discuss the contract to pay social grants. Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG – All eyes are now on the Constitutional Court after the South Africa Social Security Agency (Sassa) and Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini missed the 4pm deadline to answer pointed questions about the social grant payments.

The highest court in the land asked for clarity on the contract between Sassa and service provider Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) after it had declared that contract invalid in 2014.

Initially, there was some confusion about whether Sassa and the minister had indeed missed the deadline, but it now appears that only papers in response to opposing council have been filed, and not the answers required by the court.

The court wants to know when Sassa knew that it wouldn’t be able to take over the payment process from CPS and if any new agreement has been negotiated.

It’s understood that the papers in relation to Black Sash and other opposing parties were filed about the oversight role of the payment process.

Mail & Guardian is now reporting that Sassa wants the Public Protector and the Auditor General to monitor “the terms and implementation of the interim contract” to be signed with CPS, and that the Constitutional Court itself should only see the contract it will sign with CPS 20 days after it is concluded.

Constitutional Court expert Pierre de Vos says it’s unclear what the ramifications will be but the answers could still be submitted.

“They can appear on Wednesday and say we didn’t hand this in, we need more time. Then the court will decide what to do to make sure they do what they are legally obliged to do.”

(Edited by Winnie Theletsane)

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