Table the new social grants deal in parliament for interrogation: DA

Bathabile Dlamini.
Bathabile Dlamini.
Image: Kyle Cowan

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has called on the Inter-ministerial Committee on social grants as well as SA Social Security Agency to table the new grants distribution system in Parliament for MPs to interrogate the feasibility of the proposed timelines and cost estimates.

DA shadow minister of social development Bridget Masango said there could be no more delays and obstruction by Sassa and Social Development officials.

"Parliament has an obligation to ensure that any agreement reached between Sassa and Sapo (SA Post Office) is feasible and will not inconvenience millions of South Africans who depend on social grants. Minister (of social development) Bathabile Dlamini’s attempts to stonewall the negotiations between Sapo and Sassa have yet again exposed her inability to effectively lead the Department of Social Development‚” Masango said.

The party welcomed the signing of the services agreement between Sassa and Sapo announced on Sunday by chairperson of the inter-ministerial committee on social grants Jeff Radebe that will facilitate the implementation of a new social grants payment system from 1 April 2018.

Masango said it was very encouraging that the proposed hybrid model would also involve the use of payment platforms incorporating banks‚ commercial retailers and small businesses.

“We welcome the phasing out of cash payments and the building of an inclusive financial system‚” she said in a statement moments after the unveiling of the agreement on Sunday.

Masango said the deal would have been set up far sooner were it not for Dlamini dragging her feet‚ prioritising political campaigning while putting the livelihoods of millions at risk‚ in all likelihood for her own personal gain.

“This suspicion is enforced by the fact that she did not attend this morning’s landmark announcement. The DA will ensure that Parliament plays an effective oversight role over the implementation of the deal. Social grant beneficiaries must continue to receive their grants without any disruption‚” she added.

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