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Shabangu: Grant payments won't be affected by tender suspension

Social Development Minister Susan Shabangu has last week put on hold the tender to pay R2.5 million beneficiaries to deal with a legal challenge raised by a bidder.

Social Development Minister Susan Shabangu. Picture: GCIS

CAPE TOWN - Social Development Minister Susan Shabangu has moved to assure Parliament that the suspension of a tender for the cash payment of grants won't affect disbursements.

She's told Parliament's portfolio committee she's determined to meet the September Constitutional Court deadline to end the existing contract with Cash Paymaster Services (CPS).

Shabangu has last week put on hold the tender to pay R2.5 million beneficiaries to deal with a legal challenge raised by a bidder.

Shabangu says rather than leave it to the Constitutional Court to solve the South African Social Security Agency's (Sassa) problems, she's stepping in while there's time to rectify the issues.

“I think it is correct when you identify problems, you act on it, you don’t say ‘because I’m in court, I’m not going to address it’ and burden the court with things which you can correct."

A bidder has complained that tender documentation was inadequate to submit a responsive bid.

Treasury says the tender cannot go ahead until the first phase is reviewed. It's also unclear whether Sassa officials have the required clearance to award the tender.

“Court cannot continue to be frustrated by us so we’ve got to pull up our socks and make sure we do the right thing.”

Shabangu says she's mindful of the tight deadline to appoint a new service provider but has promised she won't be seeking to extend the CPS contract.