Parliament’s Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) says Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini knew that the contract with Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) was coming to an end, but deliberately failed to act in order for CPS to benefit unlawfully.
The minister has interfered in administrative matters to ensure that one company gets this contract. There are corrupt interests, and the question is whose interests is the minister pursuing.— Themba Godi, Committee chair for Parliament's standing committee on public accounts
There are concerns the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) has failed to implement a plan to pay social grants to millions of South Africans, but that is not the only issue at hand claims Scopa chair Themba Godi.
He advises that the payment of social grants on 1 April has overshadowed the matter of legality surrounding any future CPS contracts with Sassa.
We are being side-tracked. The issue is not whether people must be paid or not. People must be paid. The question is that are they paid in legality or illegality.— Themba Godi, Committee chair for Parliament's standing committee on public accounts
In 2014, the Constitutional Court ruled that the tender process with CPS was invalid and told the department told to find a new distributor.
However, it was agreed that CPS could continue until the end of March.
At the briefing on Sunday, the minister said no agreement had been signed with CPS to continue paying grants on the first of next month.
Godi says that nothing has been "manufactured" by the media, after Dlamini slammed reporters for allegedly misinforming the public.
There is nothing that has been concluded that is legal or implementable. I don't think that anything has been manufactured. That's the reality.— Themba Godi, Committee chair for Parliament's standing committee on public accounts
Godi says that negotiations between CPS and Sassa need to be approved by National Treasury, while the Constitutional Court may challenge the legality of a new agreement.
He says that the resignation of former Social Development Director-General Zane Dango is an indication of how Dlamini is fighting officials in her own ministry to make sure the CPS deal goes through.
Take a listen to Themba Godi's opinion: