Dlamini continues to show disrespect on Sassa matter

Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini has continued to defend her actions involving the process of finding a new service provider for social grant payments.

FILE: Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini. Picture: Cindy Archillies/EWN

JOHANNESBURG – In the month since Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini filed her affidavit to explain why she shouldn’t be held personally liable for the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) debacle, she’s continued to show a lack of respect for important engagements.

Dlamini failed to turn up to two parliamentary committee meetings this week and earlier this year filed her affidavits to the Constitutional Court late on two occasions.

The court is yet to determine whether or not Dlamini should pay the costs for the Sassa case, and whether she should take personal responsibility for the payment issue which left millions of beneficiaries at risk of not being paid their social grants on time.

Opposition parties were outraged on Wednesday when Dlamini failed to show up for a second Parliamentary committee meeting to discuss the work of her department.

In March, the Constitutional Court criticised Dlamini’s conduct in relation to the social grant payment crisis, an issue the court is yet to rule on and it was revealed that her department has spent over R30 million in legal costs since 2013.

The department has dismissed claims that the minister used a plane belonging to service provider Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) to attend a funeral in the Eastern Cape last year and confirmed that it paid for Dlamini’s trip to Ethiopia in January amid accusations that she was missing crucial parliamentary meetings.

Dlamini herself has continued to defend her actions involving the process of finding a new service provider for social grant payments.

However, she recently fired her special advisor who, along with other officials, reportedly tried to find a way that Sassa could pay social grants without CPS.

Sassa CEO Thokozani Magwaza has also had his say, claiming that the minister knew all along that Sassa couldn’t take over the payment process from CPS, while she blamed officials within his agency.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)