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Dlamini evades questions on new contract to deliver grants

Minister Bathabile Dlamini did confirm that the contract would be for two years.

Minister of Social Development Bathabile Dlamini. Picture: GCIS.

CAPE TOWN - Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini has promised further details on a new contract to pay social grants by Friday.

She told Parliament’s standing committee on public accounts on Tuesday that contrary to reports, a new agreement has not yet been sealed.

Dlamini says the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) will stick to Treasury’s budget, but she’s declined to reveal exactly how much the new contract will be worth.

It was largely anticipated that it would be another no-show from Minister Dlamini in Parliament on Tuesday, when the committee on public accounts met to discuss the grant payment situation.

But despite being a little late, Dlamini took the committee through a long history of how Sassa has landed in the current predicament.

Despite incessant probing by Members of Parliament, Dlamini successfully evaded burning questions related to a new contract, including what it will cost, whether the contract will be BBE compliant and what deductions will be allowed from beneficiaries.

“We have started with negotiations, there are issues we have raised but besides that, due diligence has been done.”

Dlamini did, however, confirm that the contract would be for two years at which time Sassa should be in a better position to take control.