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Bathabile Dlamini solely responsible for grants crisis – ConCourt

Court blames minister for reneging on her promise to take over grant payments from CPS.
Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini

Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini jeopardised the achievement of SA’s constitutional democracy that promotes the reduction of poverty, unemployment and inequality through social grants and state-backed assistance.

This was the scathing judgement on Friday by Justice Johan Froneman, who put the blame for the social grant crisis squarely on Dlamini and the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa), which is under her watch.

The court has taken umbrage with the fact that Sassa assured it in November 2015 that it would be able to take over grant payments after the contract of social grant distribution company Cash Paymaster Services’ (CPS) expired on March 31, 2017. 

This was after the same court ruled that the contract between Sassa and CPS (concluded in 2012) was constitutionally invalid as it didn’t go through proper tender processes.

However, Sassa reneged on its promise to take over grant payments, engineering a cloud of doubt about whether more than 10 million beneficiaries, who are collectively paid R11 billion per month, would receive their social grants come April 1.

Froneman said Dlamini and Sassa knew that it wouldn’t be able to take over grant payments since April 2016 and failed to inform the court in a timeous manner. It didn’t even inform the court it planned to extend CPS’ invalid contract when it expired. “Despite repeated warnings from advising counsel and CPS, neither Sassa nor the minister took any steps to inform the court of the problems they were experiencing. Nor did they see fit to approach the court for the authorisation to regularise the situation,” he said in his judgement.

The court was only informed on February 28, despite Dlamini being informed in October 2016 that Sassa couldn’t carry grant payments. “There must be public accounting for how this [not informing the court earlier] was allowed to happen. Accountability is a central value of the Constitution.”

Dlamini got her wish, as the Constitutional Court has ordered that the contract between CPS and the Sassa should be extended for 12 months, effective from April 1. 

Read: Sassa and CPS contract extended for another year

 The “deepest and most shaming of ironies”, said Froneman, is that Sassa now seeks to rely on a company (US-Nasdaq and JSE-listed Net1, the parent company of CPS) without a commitment to transformation in its management structures.  This is arguably a dig at government’s rhetoric of combating “white monopoly capital” and that the private sector has failed to commit to Black Economic Empowerment (BEE).

Froneman said the conduct of Dlamini and Sassa put SA’s grant recipients at “grave risk” and threatened to breach their right to social assistance under section 27 (1) (c) of the constitution. However, he put the blame squarely on Dlamini for the Sassa crisis, as she is the minister accountable to parliament and holds “executive political office.”

After all, both Dlamini and President Jacob Zuma have repeatedly denied that there is a crisis around Sassa payments.

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So Pathetic

The highest court has now ruled in favor of extending an “illegally awarded” contract for another year.

HELLO !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The alternative was……………………………..?

…zombie apocalypse.

@pacaratac – Quite so. Non-payment of grants would have had the gravest consequences, possibly with blood being shed. But Dlamini will be allowed to carry on wasting tax-payers money with her incompetence, either in the same position or as something even better, possibly even promotion. The glorious leader leads by example.

@pacaratac (again). I thought I had seen a reference to this person on Google some time in the past. So I looked it up again and here is what I found:

“…According to reports by the Mail and Guardian, back in October of 2006, Dlamini was convicted and fined after she pleaded guilty to fraud involving an amount of R254,000.

Dlamini was one of 14 ANC MPs who were convicted and fined after pleading guilty to theft and fraud charges stemming from abuse of parliamentary travel vouchers, the report added…”

Now we know exactly how well qualified she is to be a Minister. OMG where is this country going?

I hope they keep her in her post in parliament, for another couple of years….she will pi$$ enough ANC voters off, methinks!

End of comments.

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