As calls mount for Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini to be fired from her job over the payment of social welfare grants to 17 million beneficiaries come April 1, the Umkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans’ Association (MKMVA) says it’s too early to call for the minister’s head.
MKMVA treasurer-general Des van Rooyen said at a media briefing at the weekend the minister and her “capable” department should be afforded an opportunity to deal with the debacle involving the expiry of the Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) contract with the SA Social Security Agency (Sassa), which was declared invalid by the Constitutional Court in 2014.
“Let’s accord Minister Bathabile Dlamini and her capable department time to deal with this matter … Our plea as the MKMVA is to give Minister Bathabile [Dlamini] and her capable department a chance to deal with this matter,” Van Rooyen said.
He said the MKMVA was confident Dlamini’s department had the capacity and competency to come up with the solution to the problem.
“So far the department has proven itself to being [sic] one of the most capable,” he said.
Opposition parties, including the governing ANC’s alliance partners, have called on President Jacob Zuma to fire the minister for failing to handle the matter and to be held in contempt of court for failing to follow the directives of the Concourt to create an internal grant payment system within her department.
Business Day reported on Monday that Sassa and Net1 UEPS subsidiary CPS agreed to the terms of a new two-year contract. However, these terms have to be agreed to by National Treasury.
Net1 CEO Serge Belamant “would not provide details but said the fee charged each month for each of the approximately 11 million recipients would be considerably below the R25 mentioned in the media,” the report stated.