The Department of Social Development says it will not oppose an application brought by the Black Sash asking the Constitutional Court to reinstate its oversight role in the social grants crisis.
According to Business Day, the department now says Black Sash's application is "noble" and insists it has always thought the Constitutional Court was the best body to deal with the issue. The matter will be heard on March 15.
But Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini previously forced the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) to withdraw its application, asking the court to condone entry into a new contract with current social grants provider, Cash Paymaster Services (CPS).
Black Sash reportedly told the court that social grants beneficiaries need protection from "harmful" practices by CPS.
The current contract with CPS ends on March 31 and, so far, there is no clarity from Sassa over whether a new contract has been signed with CPS or whether it was lawfully done.
Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng wrote to Sassa this week demanding to know the details of the new agreement and why the Constitutional Court had not been informed of the new deal, the report said.
Social Development spokesperson Lumka Oliphant told Business Day that the department would not oppose the Black Sash's bid.
"These rights (of the grant recipients) relate to the protection of personal data of social grants beneficiaries as well as illegal deductions. The department has always contended that the Constitutional Court is best placed to deal with the matter at hand because social assistance is a right enshrined in the Constitution," she said.