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Dlamini: I did not reject Gordhan's advice on grant payments

Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini says reports of tension between her and Finance Minister Gordhan are aimed at creating divisions in Cabinet.

Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG - Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini says reports of tension between her and Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan are malicious and aimed at creating divisions in Cabinet.

Dlamini has refuted claims she rejected Gordhan's advice on how to deal with the payment of social grants when Cash Paymaster Services’ contract expires at the end of March.

Gordhan has reportedly told Dlamini that plans by the SA Social Security Agency (Sassa) to extend its contract with Cash Paymaster Services would be unlawful.

Sassa has approached the Constitutional Court with an application for the extension amid fears that the agency may not be able to pay grants to beneficiaries come 1 April.

Meanwhile, the Catholic Bishops of South Africa are calling on President Jacob Zuma to hold Dlamini and Sassa officials to account for the possible social grant “crisis”.

Archbishop William Slattery says Sassa failed to adhere to a Constitutional Court order from 2014, telling the agency to insource the payment of social grants by 31 March.

“There are millions of poor or needy people in need of these social grants. To put them in jeopardy will result in chaos. For them to question whether they will or will not get their money come end of March is certainly a needless worry.”

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)