Sassa to face Scopa over grants crisis

Cape Town - The SA Social Security Agency will appear before Parliament's standing committee on public accounts (Scopa) on Tuesday to discuss the looming social grants crisis.

The meeting is set down for 09:00, and the agency has agreed to appear, committee secretary Ben Kali confirmed to News24 on Monday.

Scopa will focus on Sassa and the Department of Social Development’s proposed contract extension with current illegal service provider Cash Paymaster Services (CPS), which currently handles the grants of 17 million people.

Minister Bathabile Dlamini told the portfolio committee on social development last week that they will not meet the April 1 deadline to find a new distributor. The only option is an extension of the unconstitutional contract with CPS and its parent company Net1.

She has not filed any papers with the Constitutional Court, nor started renegotiations with CPS, she admitted.

The court’s two-year deadline to end the contract and find an alternative distribution channel is four weeks away. In 2014, the court declared the contract invalid, but suspended its order to give the department time to find a new service provider.

The DA has claimed that Dlamini forced the crisis to try and extend the contract at an inflated price of R1.3bn.

“The DA will not stand for this and in Scopa we will be relentless in extracting the truth to once and for all clear the Sassa confusion and find a solution to this crisis,” DA MP Tim Brauteseth said on Monday.