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Tempers flare among MPs over payment of social grants

Sassa and the Post Office have been sent back to the negotiating table and work through the night to break an impasse over the payment of social grants.

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

PARLIAMENT - The SA Social Security Agency (Sassa) and the Post Office have been sent back to the negotiating table and work through the night to break an impasse over the payment of social grants.

Members of Parliament (MPs) are calling for a Parliamentary inquiry and also want President Jacob Zuma as the head of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on the matter, to appear before them.

With only five months to go before Sassa is expected to take over the payment of social grants, Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini has agreed to return to Parliament on Wednesday night to report back on negotiations.

Tempers flared among MPs on Tuesday who say they are being fed lies by officials and the process is being deliberately engineered to favour external service providers.

Post Office chief executive Mark Barnes says it’s untrue the Post Bank can’t provide all the necessary services to pay social grants.

A Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) report found the Post Bank didn’t meet eight out of 218 requirements.

But Dlamini says there is no bad blood.

“But there’s an assumption based on discussions, not empirical evidence that says give everything to the Post Office.”

MPs say Treasury needs to play a greater role in overseeing the process… and an inquiry is necessary to determine who is telling the truth.

WATCH: Bathabile Dlamini faces MPs over grant payments

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)