In the face of a national crisis over SASSA’s ability to ensure the payment of social grants, Minister Dlamini has flouted her responsibilities to the poorest and most vulnerable, and to the country to ensure trust, governance and adherence to the law.
We note a report today that a deal has been struck between SASSA and Net1/CPS. Yet even now, the details of this deal have not been made available to the public, and the Minister of Social Development has failed to give any meaningful answers to basic questions in her press conference on Sunday.
Dlamini has gambled with the livelihoods of 17 million people. Her conduct has shown that she cannot be trusted with this responsibility. She must resign or be fired as Minister of Social Develoment!
The Right2Know is appalled and angry about the lack of information provided by the Minister of Social Development, Bathabile Dlamini, in her press conference of 5 March 2017.
The Minister faces a crisis of public confidence in whether or not she can ensure that grants are paid legally at the end of the month. She appeared at a press briefing, and refused to answer many of the questions posed to her by the media. She refused to even take questions as to why her Director General, Zane Dangor had resigned. When asked if SASSA had an agreement in place with anyone to pay grants, she referred the question to a bureaucrat, who said they were still negotiating, apparently with Cash Paymaster Services (CPS). This is despite the court finding of the last contract with CPS to be unlawful, and the Department having years to find an alternative. The company, CPS, is an American based company that has made billions of rands off their contract with SASSA over the years, after many allegations of corruption.
Minister Dlamini has failed to give basic answers that the public has a right to know:
1. Who will pay the grants at the end of March?
2. How much will the service provider be paid?
3. What will the minister tell the Constitutional Court next week?
Instead the Minister rehashed the events of the last three years, without actually dealing with the crisis at hand. She was dismissive of the media present, and refused to answer the legitimate questions of the South African people. We are concerned that the Minister is continuing to create a crisis so she can sign yet another deal with CPS, giving them millions of rand in profit that will be taken out of the country. She is avoiding the oversight of the constitutional court. She is avoiding the Public Finance Management Act, and section 2015 of the constitution which requires transparency, accountability and the effective financial management of the economy, debt and the public sector. We have to ask what is prompting the Minister to take such reckless action?
SASSA’s contract with CPS was declared invalid by the Constitutional Court in 2014 – and SASSA was given the time until the first of April to insource this service in order to eliminate the corruption, mismanagement, and the immense profiteering from CPS through the payment of grants to the most vulnerable in South Africa.
Right2Know supports the Black Sash in their efforts in the Constitutional Court to urgently ensure that a deal with CPS is one that will not disadvantage the country and grant beneficiaries for many months to come. Their case will be heard in the Constitutional Court on the 15th of March.
These questions must be answered. No secrets, no lies!