Editorials 18.3.2017 05:21 am

A relief that sanity finally prevailed in Sassa debacle

Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng begins swearing in MPs on Wednesday, 21 May 2014 as South Africa's fifth Parliament convenes for the first time in Cape Town. Picture: GCIS/SAPA

Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng begins swearing in MPs on Wednesday, 21 May 2014 as South Africa's fifth Parliament convenes for the first time in Cape Town. Picture: GCIS/SAPA

The Constitutional Court applied timeous, clear logic in handing down the ruling.

It does not need anything more than a superficial examination to discern the contrasts in the settling of the shambolic government role in the Sassa grants saga.

On the one hand there has been the inertia of the Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini and her department, a study in incompetence and indiscriminate accusatory incrimination which led to the core of this facile fandango in the first place.

The flip side of a coin almost worn smooth by the number of slick hands it has passed through, is the way the Constitutional Court applied timeous, clear logic – and added some stern words to the offending functionaries appearing before the full bench.

The ConCourt’s ruling that the controversial Cash Paymaster Services should continue to pay the grants for 12 months from April 1 means widespread relief for 17 million vulnerable beneficiaries.

But as the court pointed out, this is only a stopgap solution and Justice Johan Froneman was scathing in his criticism of Sassa and minister Dlamini for creating an unnecessary crisis that has caused a contract declared invalid in 2013 to be continued, and listed a number of conditions, including major oversight of how the contract would run for the next year.

ConCourt orders that CPS continues paying grants for another year

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