Cash Paymaster winner in grants
Astalemate between Treasury and the department of social development over what kind of contract to give Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) means more time is being lost in the race to ensure grants are still being provided by April 1. Although President Jacob Zuma met with Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini last weekend, officials say they are no closer to a solution.
City Press has learnt that while both Treasury and Dlamini’s department realise that it would be practical to allow CPS to continue because of its experience, they differ on whether the company should get a new contract or continue its service under the old agreement.
According to officials, Treasury wants a short-term extension of the contract under the same terms – at R16.44 per beneficiary – but this has been opposed by the company because it wants more.
CPS is a private company contracted by the state to disburse more than R10 billion in social welfare grants to about 17 million people a month.
In 2014, the Constitutional Court ruled that the process of awarding the contract to CPS by the SA Social Security Agency (Sassa) was flawed and had to be scrapped.
The state was given three years to correct the process or find a new service provider. That deadline ends on March 31.
Sassa has not awarded a new tender and, with April 1 just over a month away, it remains unclear how are the grants are going to be paid.
Dlamini wants to enter into a new, short-term contract with CPS, although this would require a deviation from Public Finance Management Act regulations.
Dlamini’s department has denied being negligent in the handling of the matter, arguing that only three bidders responded to the readvertisement of the tender in 2015