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Dlamini: I had no personal interest in extending CPS contract

An inquiry into Bathabile Dlamini’s role in the South African Social Security Agency crisis is being heard in Midrand.

FILE: Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini appeared before Parliament's Standing Commitee on Public Accounts (Scopa) to discuss the contract to pay social grants. Picture: Cindy Archillies/EWN.

MIDRAND - Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini says she had no personal interests when extending her department’s contract with Cash Paymaster Services (CPS).

Dlamini has been accused of deliberately delaying a firm plan for the insourcing of grant payments to facilitate an ongoing relationship with CPS.

An inquiry into her role in the South African Social Security Agency crisis (Sassa) is being heard in Midrand.

Dlamini has denied claims that she wanted CPS to continue its services in contravention of a Constitutional Court order.

She was asked: “Did you somehow intend to have CPS have a life longer than 1 April 2017, in contradiction to what was told at the Constitutional Court?”

Dlamini responded: “I did not.”

She has also denied interfering with the work of Sassa in any way that could prevent it from meeting its obligations.

The minister's legal team has wrapped up its evidence and rights group the Black Sash Trust begun cross-examination.

Dlamini says her department has begun the process of rectifying the irregular appointment of officials who headed the so-called Sassa workstreams.

Dlamini has been grilled on the controversial streams on the first day of the enquiry into her role into the social grants crisis.

The hearing is headed by retired Judge Bernard Ngoepe.

Dlamini says she established the so-called work streams to assist Sassa to achieve its mandate of ensuring that millions of beneficiaries get their grants.

However, speaking through an interpreter, Dlamini was unable to explain how her department was going to address the irregular appointment of the officials when questioned by Black Sash's Advocate Geoff Budlender.

“Well I cannot get into the detail but I think Sassa executives will be in a better position to answer this particular question.”

The inquiry has been adjourned until Tuesday.