Corruption Watch welcomes ConCourt stance on Sassa debacle

Corruption Watch says this means the name of the people who made the decisions around the grant payment contract will now become public.

FILE: Former Minister Bathabile Dlamini. Picture: Supplied.

JOHANNESBURG – Corruption Watch says it’s pleased the Constitutional Court has now formally told the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) it must say who first realised they would not be able to pay social grants directly and when they knew.

The agency has been strongly criticised for failing to act and now asking the court to continue to use Cash Paymaster Services (CPS).

On Wednesday Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng issued directions in the case involving Sassa, saying the agency has to say who determined they couldn’t pay the grants directly when they determined that, and when Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini was first told.

Corruption Watch head David Lewis says this means the name of the people who made these decisions will now become public.

“And I think that’s right, I think that needs to come out, and I think the minister is in contempt of the Constitutional Court.”

The court has also asked if there is a written agreement with CPS and for a copy of that agreement.

WATCH: Dlamini again promises that grants will be paid on 1 April

CABINET DISCUSSES DEADLINE

Cabinet has now met to discuss the situation around the payment of social grants from 1 April.

Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe was asked if government would take any action over the crisis, but he would not reveal any details.

“You should be aware that last week Cabinet decided that today that matter is going to be discussed, so I think let’s wait until cabinet finalises on that specific matter.”

CALLS FOR INQUIRY

Meanwhile the Democratic Alliance (DA) and African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) called for a full parliamentary inquiry into the payment of social grants.

The opposition said it’s not satisfied with the information provided by Dlamini at a meeting of Parliament’s Scopa on Tuesday.

The DA said Dlamini failed to provide clear answers on a pending new contract with CPS, while the ACDP said her assurances that grants would be paid next month were not convincing.

Dlamini appeared to throw officials under the bus in attempting to explain why Sassa was trying to negotiate an eleventh hour deal with CPS, but later said she was not blaming them.

The ACDP said it was concerned that the minister insisted CPS was the only company to provide the required service, and it wants to see a five-year plan to revolutionise Sassa.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)