President Ramaphosa must not protect Shabangu like Zuma protected Dlamini
The time has come for President Cyril Ramaphosa to personally intervene in the ongoing social grants fiasco.
This is after CPS submitted an affidavit to the Constitutional Court stating that it does not have enough money to distribute cash grants to beneficiaries in July. CPS claims to not have enough money because they are demanding a higher administration fee than what has been recommended, approved and paid in full by National Treasury and SASSA.
Essentially, CPS is attempting to create yet another crisis, risking the wellbeing of 2.8 million social grant recipients, to force government's hand to pay them more money.
By threatening to not pay cash grants, CPS is clearly holding the Department of Social Development, the Constitutional Court and the beneficiaries to ransom.
This is further proof of CPS’s parasitic nature and that they are willing to toy with the livelihoods of the poor and vulnerable for their own financial gain.
In 2014, the Constitutional Court declared the CPS contract unlawful. In March this year, the Court was forced to grant yet another extension of this contract which is set to come to an end in September this year.
The President has to intervene with urgency, as he too is accountable for this mess.
Instead of ensuring that he prioritised the lives of the poor and vulnerable by appointing a competent Minister to replace Dodging Dlamini, he simply swapped like for like.
On Wednesday, the new Minister of Social Development, Susan Shabangu, appeared before Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Social Development where she had ample opportunity to divulge this information. However, she did not. This means that she either chose to keep quiet or she was completely in the dark about the impending crisis at CPS. Both scenarios are equally inexcusable.
President Ramaphosa cannot protect Minister Shabangu the way President Jacob Zuma protected Minister Bathabile Dlamini.
On Wednesday, the DA wrote to the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Social Development to request that the Minister and the SASSA CEO account to Parliament on the decision to cancel the tender process for another service provider to distribute grants. The Minister must answer for this mess and why SASSA decided to cancel the cash grants tender process. It is now clear that CPS is grossly unsuitable to distribute social grants to our people.
The DA will not be deterred from ensuring that SASSA, CPS and the Minister is held accountable for once again placing the lives of vulnerable social grants recipients at risk.
This ongoing crisis must be dealt with urgently, once and for all for sake of the millions who rely on social grants just to get by.
Statement issued by Bridget Masango MP, DA Shadow Minister of Social Development, 25 May 2018