Former South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) CEO Thokozani Magwaza was about to appoint the Post Office as an aggregator to pay grants, days before his removal on Monday, reported eNCA on Thursday.
Reporter Karyn Maughn tweeted copies of a document in her possession, purporting to be proof that the deal between the Post Office and Sassa would go ahead.
Magwaza is reported to have signed off on the document, which states the Post Office would take over the paying of social grants for the next five years. After this period, Sassa would then be expected to become sole paymaster.
The document also stated National Treasury had confirmed the new partnership and that there will be an assessment to see whether the Post Office has done a good job after a year. It is expected to come into effect in March 2018.
This is seemingly contrary to Dlamini's plans. During the Sassa debacle earlier this year, the minister wanted Parliament to spend R6 billion for Sassa to take over the administration of grants. When asked for a breakdown on how she came up with the number, she was unable to answer.
This comes after the agency's failure to be ready to take over the payment of grants in April from Cash Paymaster Services, in line with previous court orders, which sparked panic for millions of South Africans. The case was resolved through the Constitutional Court when a ruling was made that Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) had a constitutional duty to continue welfare grants monthly though its contract was due to expire at the end of March.
Magwaza trashed claims by Dlamini that she was unaware of problems with the handover of the social grants payment system to Sassa until October last year.
Magwaza and Dlamini have had a turbulent relationship in the past few months. Magwaza, as well as ex-director general Zane Dangor, were due to testify against the minister in a public inquiry about her role in the Sassa pension payment debacle. Dangor was appointed director general in November last year and announced his resignation in March.
He admitted that his resignation was because relations between him and Minister Bathabile Dlamini had completely broken down.
Meanwhile, the Social Development Department on Wednesday revealed its new interim Sassa CEO, Pearl Bhengu. This comes after news that Thokozani Magwaza would no longer serve as the CEO on Monday, but they dispute whether he was sacked or resigned.