Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini used her speaking turn during a debate in the National Assembly about the payment of social grants to explain why she thinks the current service provider should continue.
The contract with Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) has been ruled invalid by a court, but with only a few days to go until this contract expires the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) has yet to find another way of paying these grants.
Dlamini stepped up to the podium to a hero's welcome from some ANC MPs, saying: "There is no crisis at Sassa". She blamed the problems on the fragmented system the current government had inherited.
Dlamini further accused critics of "political grandstanding", saying they should stop with their "scare campaign" which "is causing nothing but anxiety". She said they were doing so to "remove the authority of the ANC".
She gave five reasons why CPS was the only entity able to continue paying social grants:
- The South African Post Office won't be able to pay grants without inconvenience to recipients without the help of CPS. It has serious limitations.
- Hundreds of Post Office branches have closed in recent times.
- The Post Office wants to use the voucher system and it is not clear how they would prevent duplication, so here again they would need CPS.
- If banks paid the grants, recipients would have to travel 20km to get their grants, instead of only 5km.
- Dlamini also said PIN verification would not be allowed in any new system.