Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini must explain how she arrived at the conclusion that it would cost R6 billion for the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) to take over welfare grant distribution, the Democratic Alliance said on Thursday.
DA social development spokesperson Bridget Masango described the figure as “alarming” and said she was submitting parliamentary questions to the minister to shed light on her calculations.
“How did the minister arrive at this R6-billion figure? Did this price tag increase because Sassa was unready to distribute social grants at the March 31, 2017, deadline, which was a crisis manufactured by Dlamini?
“The new R6 billion figure is absolutely staggering and raises yet more alarming questions about the DA’s long-held belief that Dlamini purposefully manufactured the social grants crisis to ensure that the status quo on the multibillion-rand social grant distribution system remains, including that CPS, continues to benefit.”
On Wednesday, Dlamini insisted that it would take five years to groom Sassa to take over payment of some 17 million social welfare grants. The payments are currently being made by Net1 subsidiary Cash Paymaster Services, following a Constitutional Court ruling earlier this year.
But Sassa’s CEO Thokozani Magwaza said CPS would be phased out, in line with the court order and if need be replaced with an organisation that would work alongside Sassa until it could perform the function on its own.
It was the first time the minister had put a price tag on Sassa taking over payment.
– African News Agency (ANA)