How much will bungling of social grant distribution cost? - Lindy Wilson

DA says company with tender that was deemed irregular will continue payments because SASSA was 'overambitious'

How much will the bungling of social grant distribution cost South Africans?

13 December 2016

The Minister of Social Development, Bathabile Dlamini, and the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) must reveal the financial cost of their failure to prepare sufficiently to take over the distribution of R10 billion in social grants to 17 million South Africans.

This is after SASSA finally conceded that its plan to take over the distribution of social grants to 17 million people by 1 April 2017 was “overambitious” and that the agency will not be ready for this task.
The DA will ensure that the Minister and SASSA are held to account in Parliament, at the first possible opportunity.

It is now clear that Net1/CPS will continue with payments despite the fact that their tender was deemed irregular by the Constitutional Court. The South African public deserve to know on what terms this contract will be extended and, vitally, how much this major blunder will cost.

Social Development director-general, Zayn Dangor, confirmed what the DA has been saying for months – that, despite having spent millions on “workstreams” dedicated to this task, SASSA is hopelessly unprepared for this massive undertaking.

Mr Dangor said SASSA will report to the Constitutional Court that it has failed to meet the targets and deadlines stipulated by the court in preparing for the takeover.

For months, the DA has been calling on Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini to present a detailed project plan on how SASSA and the department intend taking over the function inhouse. Our questions have gone unanswered and we have consistently been met with evasiveness, obfuscation and a total lack of clarity.

The Minister and the department’s lack of transparency and refusal over the past several months to answer questions about their progress amounts to deceit and suggests something shady is afoot, and has been for some time.

SASSA and the department have been playing games with the lives of millions of poor and vulnerable South Africans. This cannot be allowed to continue.

The DA will ensure, through every mechanism available to us, that those responsible for this, are held to account.

Issued by Lindy Wilson, DA Shadow Deputy Minister of Social Development, 13 December 2016