Social grants fiasco ‘cries out for a proper investigation’ – Corruption Watch
Shenaaz Jamal | 2017-03-15 09:33:12.0
Social development minister Bathabile Dlamini. File photo.
Image by: MOELETSI MABE
Corruption Watch says there are numerous corruption red flags that need to be investigated in the spiralling social grants debacle.
The graft watchdog has asked to be admitted in the case being argued before the Constitutional Court as a friend of the court.
In papers filed at the Constitutional Court‚ Corruption Watch cited a number of major concerns‚ including the inability of the SA Social Security Agency (Sassa) to run a competitive bidding process‚ self-created emergencies and a lack of transparency.
Corruption Watch argued that the court should retain its supervisory jurisdiction over the payment of grants to minimise the duration of an unlawful interim agreement between Sassa and Cash Paymaster Services (CPS)‚ who administer the social grants on behalf of government.
The court in 2014 ruled that the contract between Sassa and CPS was invalid due to tender irregularities‚ but allowed the contract to continue while Sassa devised an in-house payment system.
In recent weeks‚ Sassa has told the court that the in-house payments system would not materialise. It admitted that some officials knew this as early as April 2016‚ although the court was not informed until March 2017. Corruption Watch has now called on the court to establish the causes of Sassa’s conduct in order to hold those involved accountable.
It also wants the entire matter referred to the Public Protector and the Hawks for investigation.
“It is plain to see that the matter cries out for a proper investigation‚” said court papers submitted by Corruption Watch.