Cash Pay­mas­ter win­ner in grants

CityPress - - News - HLENGIWE NHLABATHI hlengiwe.nhlabathi@city­

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

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