Sassa tells ConCourt it knew in October it couldn’t take over payments
TMG Digital | 2017-03-14 08:22:54.0
Pensioners queue at a South African Social Security Agency pay point in Mpumalanga
Image by: THULANI MBELE
The country’s social grants agency says it discovered in October last year that it would be unable to take over the grants programme.
The South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) made the revelations in papers filed to the Constitutional Court late on Monday‚ eNCA reported.
Sassa was ordered by the court last week to answer questions around how the current grants crisis unfolded.
Sassa was meant to respond by 4pm on Monday‚ but only did so electronically at 10.36pm‚ eNCA reported.
The previous grants contract with Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) was ruled invalid in 2014‚ but CPS was allowed to see out the contract‚ which ends on March 31.
Sassa was meant to continually update the Constitutional Court on how it planned to deal with the grants programme from April 1.
But in recent weeks it has emerged that Sassa intends to renew the CPS contract‚ after saying that it has failed to find a suitable replacement.
The saga has sparked calls for social development minister Bathabile Dlamini to resign.
Dlamini has said that part of the reason for the delay in finding a new contractor was that the National Treasury had resisted appeals for assistance in sealing a new deal.
Finance minister Pravin Gordhan is due to give his department’s side of the story on Tuesday before parliament’s standing committee on public accounts (Scopa).