Sassa hits back at Corruption Watch over grant payments

Sassa has denied claims that it did nothing to change how grants are paid because of corruption at the agency.

Picture: Supplied

JOHANNESBURG – The South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) has slammed claims from Corruption Watch that it did nothing to prepare to change the way social grants are paid and says it's not true to claim that it's refused to do anything because of corruption.

The agency told Parliament earlier this week that it's going to ask the Constitutional Court for another year to end the contract with Cash Paymaster Services, after the court said three years ago it had won a tender illegally.

Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini has failed to appear in Parliament several times to take questions from Members of Parliament about the handover which was due to take place on 1 April.

Corruption Watch head David Lewis says it's not hard to work out what's happening at Sassa.

“It’s either incompetence or corruption of the most egregious sort. Corruption is not likely alleged in this case.”

But Sassa's Kgomoco Diseko says this fits into a wrong perception.

“The narrative out there is that Sassa did nothing, they were waiting for a crisis.”

He also denies other reports that Minister Dlamini overruled senior staff on the issue when they appeared in Parliament this week.

“When you present in Parliament you go through phases. It's [one amendment after the other].”

Diseko says they have been trying hard to comply with the Constitutional Court's ruling.

(Edited by Masechab Sefularo)