An agreement still to be finalised between South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) and South African Post Office (sapo) “does not mean Minister Bathabile Dlamini is off the hook”, according to Democratic Alliance (DA) Shadow Deputy Minister of Social Development Lindy Wilson.
Wilson said in a statement shortly after Minister in the Presidency responsible for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation Jeff Radebe announced the deal and that the agreement between Sassa and Sapo to distribute social grants was expected to be signed by next week Friday.
Radebe was briefing joint meeting of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts and the Portfolio Committee on Social Development on Wednesday.
“Although DA is pleased there might soon be an end to this Sassa social grants debacle, we must face the facts that Minister Dlamini once again tried to delay the process to find a new distributor of social grants in order to keep the CPS contract. The Minister failed on numerous occasions to resolve the crisis which ultimately led to joint committee meetings and the intervention of the Inter-Ministerial Committee,” said Wilson.
Wilson said Minister Dlamini was clearly blocking every effort to ensure Sapo did not qualify as a suitable service provider because she either wants the illegal CPS contract to continue or she has another service provider in mind.
Minister Dlamini is unfit to lead the Department of Social Development and she must be held accountable for putting the country on the brink of another social grants crisis.
“It is clear that Sassa also had a hand in this prolonged procurement process,” added Wilson.
The Panel of Experts appointed by the Constitutional Court to oversee this entire process found that Sassa failed to cooperate.
In a letter to the Committee, National Treasury stated that Sassa took more than two months to evaluate and adjudicate one proposal and that this conclusion implies there was a deliberate delay from agency to work with Sapo.
Wilson said both Minister Dlamini and Sassa must account for their disgraceful behaviour of threatening the security of social grants, without a doubt for their own financial benefits.