The Citizen (KZN)

Magwaza hits back at Dlamini

SASSA CEO ASKS TO SET RECORD STRAIGHT AFTER MINISTER FINGERS HIM FOR CRISIS ‘I have difficulty understand­ing why the minister was adamant that CPS be used.’

- Ray Mahlaka

South Africa Social Security Agency (Sassa) CEO Thokozani Magwaza has revealed why Net1’s Cash Paymaster Service (CPS) has emerged as the distributo­r of social grants in SA, inferring that Social Developmen­t Minister Bathabile Dlamini had a hand in the deal.

Magwaza, in his affidavit filed at the Constituti­onal Court, said Dlamini was against the solution of local banks and the South African Post Office taking over social grant payments when CPS’s contract expired on March 31, 2017.

Another option was for Sassa to process payments in-house.

The contract between Sassa and CPS, which was concluded in 2012, was declared invalid three years ago by the Constituti­onal Court as it didn’t go through already had the biometric technology to identify and verify social grant recipients, were put off by the onerous tender requiremen­ts.

Magwaza said since being appointed as Sassa CEO in November 2016, National Treasury and the Reserve Bank indicated that Sassa was able to utilise local banks for social grant payments. “I have difficulty understand­ing why the minister was adamant that CPS be used [for grant payments],” he said in court papers.

He added that there was no record of Dlamini engaging with Sassa to consider available options and solutions to ensure that grants were paid after CPS’ contract expired.

Dlamini has maintained that the extension of CPS’ contract “was a least risky option to ensure uninterrup­ted payment of social grants”. She got her wish, as the Constituti­onal Court has ordered that the contract between CPS and Sassa should be extended for 12 months, effective from April 1.

Magwaza asked to set the record straight by filing an affidavit after Dlamini blamed him for the social grants crisis. –

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