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'Dlamini disregarded ConCourt over Sassa crisis'

Constitutional law experts say Bathabile Dlamini has shown disregard for the top court by leaving the process of finding a grant distributor to the last minute.

FILE: Bathabile Dlamini. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - As the South Africa Social Security Agency (Sassa) debacle continues, constitutional law experts say Minister Bathabile Dlamini has shown disregard for the Constitutional Court by leaving the process of finding a grant distributor to the last minute.

Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) and Sassa have both confirmed that verbal consensus has been reached for a new contract, however no deal has been signed as yet due to ongoing negotiations.

In 2014, the initial contract between the two parties was found to be unconstitutional and could not be renewed after it expires at the end of this month.

Professor Pierre de Vos says while the Constitutional Court is likely to rule in Sassa’s favour to have CPS continue as the distributor for the sake of the 17 million beneficiaries, Dlamini's complacency in the matter will not go unpunished.

“The Constitutional Court will be invited to make some adverse comments against the minister because of her failure to take the requirements seriously.”

Unisa's Advocate Sipho Mantula says Dlamini's actions are a violation of human rights as she is failing to fulfil her mandate to provide for the poor.

“The crux of the matter is the right to welfare. We need to take into account that it’s at risk.”

Once the deal has been signed between CPS and Sassa it will then proceed to Treasury for approval.

Thereafter it will move to the Constitutional Court on 15 March for the final go-ahead.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)