[FIRST ON EWN] Dlamini’s advisor admits she could have managed Sassa better

Bathabile Dlamini’s advisor Sipho Shezi says the minister should be held accountable to an extent for the mess at Sassa.

A Sassa card. Picture: Supplied

JOHANNESBURG – Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini’s advisor Sipho Shezi has told Eyewitness News the minister could have done a better job in managing operations at South African Social Security Agency (Sassa).

Shezi has criticised the agency and accused it of maladministration and chaos.

He’s admitted that the minister should be held accountable to an extent for the mess at Sassa.

The advisor has also highlighted that the minister does not operate alone and cannot take sole responsibility for the problems.

The Constitutional Court has requested answers from Dlamini on the social grants crisis by Monday.

In 2014, the Constitutional Court declared the current contract between Sassa and Cash Paymaster Services invalid and unconstitutional, leaving uncertainty around whether the 17 million beneficiaries will receive grants come 1 April.

Shezi says while Dlamini made strides in dealing with problems at Sassa, a better job could have been done.

“Where there are certain things that the minister, in terms of managing Sassa saga, to the extent that there was effective administration, effective leadership at Sassa. I think the ministry could have done much better.”

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

Shezi said while Dlamini may not be directly to blame for Sassa’s failure to finalise a deal, as a political executive she is accountable to South Africans.

“Ultimately the minister is accountable for this and she has political accountability for what has happened at Sassa."

He said the Sassa problem has proven to be a thorn in the minister her side throughout her time in office.

“The minister has taken Sassa at a problematic time in the same way that she took the National Development Agency at a problematic time.”

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)