Social development department will start phasing CPS out by year end

26 May 2017 - 09:07
By Bianca Capazorio

Social development minister Bathabile Dlamini says her department will start phasing out CPS as the current social grants service provider by November.

Speaking during her department’s annual budget debate‚ Dlamini apologised for “the confusion created” when the contract‚ due to expire‚ landed up in the Constitutional Court earlier this year.

But she said the “doomsayers” who had wished that payments wouldn’t be paid‚ had been disappointed.

Dlamini said her department had “moved swiftly” to incorporate the Constitutional Court rulings into the annual performance plan and would start phasing in the services of a new service provider by November to ensure a seamless handover.

‘Up your game’ – MPs tell SassaUnhappy MPs have ordered the SA Social Security Agency (Sassa) to “up its game” and accused its top managers of incompetence for its shambolic handling of the social grant payment system. 

Dlamini has previously told Parliament it will take five years and about R6 billion to move the payment of social grants over to the South African Social Security Agency.

The department of social development‚ with a budget of R160 billion‚ receives the biggest budget of all the government departments. The bulk of this‚ R151 billion‚ goes towards social grants spending.

Dlamini said her department aimed to amend the Social Assistance Act this year to ensure funeral and savings funds for social grants beneficiaries.

Sassa asked to explain 'fruitless' court caseThe South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) has withdrawn its opposition to Corruption Watch’s high court application to have the payment of R317m to Cash Paymaster Services reversed. 

Chair of the social development committee Nokuzola Capa thanked the minister and her department for “the clear answers” given to them when required.

But opposition parties weren’t quite as complimentary‚ with the Democratic Alliance’s Bridget Masango calling for her to step down after she “mysteriously survived the midnight reshuffle“.

Masango said Dlamini could not be trusted with the budget because of her “chaotic style of leadership” and R1 billion of irregular expenditure in her department

The EFF’s Makoti Kawula said the minister had failed pensioners and orphans‚ giving them meagre grants while using funds to hire bodyguards and buy cars.

The IFP’s Liesl van der Merwe criticised Dlamini’s “poor leadership” but supported the budget because she said it was a matter of “life or death” for many poor South Africans.

She however said the department’s work on issues around violence against women and children was inadequate‚ its gender based call centre was “invisible” and foster care programmes were not coping.

“It took the ConCourt to handle the SASSA matter” she said‚ adding “the crisis is far from over“.