15 March 2017

South Africa: Sassa Didn't Miss Concourt Deadline, Says Dept

Photo: allafrica.com
Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini and SASSA CEO Thokozani Magwaza

Pretoria — The Department of Social Development says the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) did not miss the deadline set by the Constitutional Court for the filing of the Confirmatory Affidavits on Tuesday.

The court had sent Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini and SASSA a set of questions on 8 March 2017, where they were given a deadline of Monday, 12 March 3pm, to make the submission.

Department spokesperson Lumka Oliphant said Minister Dlamini and the then Acting SASSA CEO, Dr Wiseman Magasela, had to confirm on affidavits to the Constitutional Court the condonation application made following their late filing of the responses to court, pursuant to the directions of the Chief Justice.

Oliphant disputed media reports that SASSA missed its deadline for 3pm.

"The department wishes to state that it is not true, as reported on News24 and eNCA, that SASSA missed its deadline for the 3pm filing of the affidavits by the Minister of Social Development and the then Acting SASSA CEO, Dr Wiseman Magasela.

"Contrary to media reports, the affidavits were filed timeously and their copies were stamped by the clerk of the court and handed to the SASSA legal team," said Oliphant.

The Constitutional Court had last week requested more information on the supplementary report from SASSA regarding the payment of social grants.

Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng had ordered SASSA to provide information on who was responsible for deciding that the agency cannot pay grants itself after March 2017 and the date when that person realised that SASSA could not pay grants itself.

SASSA presently relies on Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) to deliver grants to 17 million beneficiaries. The CPS contract expires on 31 March 2017. While SASSA is still in talks with CPS, an agreement has not been signed yet.

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