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'Detractors destabilising Sassa & Post Office negotiations'

On Tuesday, Parliament heard that while Sassa says it can only offer the Post Office one out of a four-part contract due to it lacking in capability.

FILE: Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini. Picture: GCIS.

CAPE TOWN - Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini has come under fire in the National Assembly over delays in meeting the Constitutional Court deadline to take over the payment of grants.

On a question from the Inkatha Freedom Party, Dlamini again reiterated her commitment to working with the Post Office but said her detractors are the ones destabilising the process to reach an agreement.

Dlamini is expected to attend another joint meeting in Parliament on Wednesday night to discuss any progress made in trying to break the deadlock between the Social Security Agency (Sassa) and the Post Office in reaching a deal.

“This process is the process of building capacity for Sassa. That is why in some of the areas we are saying the Post Office will build, operate and transfer.”

On Tuesday, Parliament heard that while Sassa says it can only offer the Post Office one out of a four-part contract due to it lacking in capability.

The Post Office says it can do all the work and is not prepared to share the job with external service providers.

Dlamini says she could end up in jail if she smoothens the way for the Post Office to enter into a contract with the Social Security Agency to pay social grants.

Parliament's Standing Committee on Public Accounts and the portfolio committee on Social Development are meeting to get feedback from the parties involved as to whether they can work together.

Answering questions in the National Assembly on Wednesday afternoon, Dlamini suggested that the parties involved are not being treated fairly by the parliamentary committees.

“What I saw yesterday is that there were women that were asked radical questions and then there were men who just said things and they were not asked a lot of questions. What they were saying was taken as the gospel truth.”

The Economic Freedom Fighters' Marshall Dlamini used the opportunity to make reference to ministers implicated in state capture.

“When you told South African that ANC members have got smallanyana skeletons, we did not believe you. I want to apologise for that. We should have believed you because you were telling the truth. Now today you are saying there is a likelihood that you are going to prison. I wish you all the best and I wish you can go fast. Don’t leave Jacob Zuma and don’t leave Zwane.”