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Cosatu calls on Bathabile Dlamini to resign or be axed

Cosatu has made it clear the federation expects heads to roll at Sassa over it's contract with Cash Paymaster Services.

FILE: Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG - The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) has called on Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini to either resign or be axed over the social grant fiasco.

The federation held a briefing in Braamfontein earlier on Thursday following its central executive committee meeting.

The South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) is currently negotiating with Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) to enter into a new contract to ensure the continuation of social grants for another year.

A major crisis is looming if government is not able to pay the country’s 17 million beneficiaries when the invalid contract with CPS ends this month.

Cosatu general secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali said: “The minister and her team in the department need to take political responsibility for this crisis by resigning or be dismissed.”

Ntshalintshali has made it clear the federation expects heads to roll at Sassa.

“This is not just an administrative bungling but it is a political own goal that smells of corruption.”

The federation says the agency has failed to deal decisively with the irregular expenditure and tender processes that have resulted in the threat to the livelihoods of 17 minion grant beneficiaries.

At the same time, Cosatu says it's deeply concerned about the clumsy manner in which Sassa is handling the crisis over the payment of social grants, and has appealed to President Jacob Zuma to intervene to avoid what they call a catastrophic and life threatening situation.

The union says what concerns them the most about this crisis is that the most vulnerable beneficiaries like the elderly, the disabled as well as children under the age of 18, will be affected.

Ntshalintshali said: “The disruption of the social security system could be catastrophic and ultimately life threatening.”

He says they want the president to do something and for Dlamini to be axed.

“Cosatu is appealing to the president to intervene and heads need to roll at Sassa.”

The federation says the crisis is not just an administrative bungling but a political pen goal that smells of corruption.