Minister Jeff Radebe's announcement today that the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Social Security will have an agreement ready for SASSA and the South African Post Office (SAPO) for the distribution of social grants, does not mean that Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini is off the hook.
Minister Radebe, at the Joint sitting of SCOPA and the Social Development Committee in Parliament, announced that an agreement between SASSA and SAPO is expected to be signed by next week Friday.
Although the DA is pleased that there might soon be an end to this SASSA social grants debacle, we must face the facts that Minister Dlamini once again tried to delay the process of SASSA finding a new distributor of social grants in order to keep the dodgy CPS contract.
The Minister failed on numerous occasions to resolve the crisis which ultimately led to joint committee meetings and the intervention of the IMC.
Minister Dlamini was clearly blocking every effort to ensure that SAPO did not qualify as a suitable service provider because she either wants the illegal CPS contract to continue or she has another provider in mind.
Minister Dlamini is unfit to lead the Department of Social Development and she must be held accountable for putting the country on the brink of another social grants crisis.
It is clear that SASSA also had a hand in this prolonged procurement process. The Panel of Experts appointed by the Constitutional Court to oversee this entire process found that SASSA failed to cooperate with experts. In a letter to the Committee, National Treasury stated that SASSA took more than two months to evaluate and adjudicate one proposal, this conclusion implies there was a deliberate delay from SASSA to work with SAPO.
Both Minister Dlamini and SASSA must account for their disgraceful behaviour of threatening the security of social grants for what is no doubt their own financial benefits.
Lindy Wilson MP
DA Shadow Deputy Minister of Social Development