Sassa cancels contract with controversial workstreams

The agency says it's acting on advice from Treasury that’s found the appointment of so-called workstreams to have been irregular.

FILE: Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini. Picture: Supplied

CAPE TOWN - The South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) has confirmed that it has cancelled the contract of controversial advisory groups to help it make the transition to paying out social grants without the help of a private service provider.

The agency says it's acting on advice from Treasury that’s found the appointment of so-called workstreams to have been irregular.

Sassa spokesperson Paseka Lesatsi says that the workstreams have officially been given notice by the agency's chief executive officer Thokozani Magwaza, to stop working.

The workstreams, appointed by Sassa two years ago, have long been a bone of contention.

They have been taking instruction from and reporting directly to Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini.

But in the wake of Sassa failing to meet a Constitutional Court deadline in March to take over the payment of grants, Treasury found the appointment of the workstreams to have been irregular.

Lesatsi explains: “The CEO was left with no option but to respect what National Treasury’s observation is, and to make sure that he communicates this particular stance.”

He could not immediately confirm how much the workstreams have cost the agency to date, but earlier reports have suggested that they have been paid at least R47 million.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)