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CPS CEO: If a deal is not signed, we can't pay grants on 1 April

CPS says it would be impossible to make payments if they are not given enough time, specifically with regards to the cash cycle.

FILE: A Sassa card. Picture: Supplied.

JOHANNESBURG - Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) now says if a deal is not signed with the agency by Wednesday, it will not be able to pay social grant recipients on 1 April.

The South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) and Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini are pushing for a new, interim contract with CPS to ensure that when the current invalid contract expires at the end of March, grants can still be paid to 17 million beneficiaries.

CPS CEO Serge Belamant says it would be impossible to make the payments if they are not given enough time, specifically with regards to the cash cycle.

“In order for us to pay on 1 April, we need to have access to the funds that must be paid to the beneficiaries. Secondly, we cannot go ahead and pay over R10 billion without the contract with the state.”

WATCH: Dlamini: Social grants will be paid

However, Minister Dlamini has told Parliament that all grant beneficiaries will be paid on time and that prophets of doom are trying to confuse the country.

“Social grant beneficiaries are not for sale.”

The Democratic Alliance’s Bridgette Masango told the minister she’s incompetent.

“With two and a half weeks to go until the current invalid contract with CPS expires and no alternate plan to ensure grants will be paid, this is an unbelievable example of recklessness and hopeless inability of social development minister who has put the livelihoods of millions of our people at risk.”

The Economic Freedom Fighters’ Ntombovuyo Mente has also had a chance to let Parliament know what she thinks of the minister.

“It is a fact that Minister Dlamini has done everything in her powers, including undermining the Constitutional Court, to ensure that the country has no other option but to continue with the unconstitutional and illegal contract with CPS - let alone the fact that this contract has been declared illegal and unconstitutional more than two years ago.”

_WATCH: Dlamini: there is no crisis at Sassa _

(Edited by Winnie Theletsane)