DA requests Dlamini and SAPO to appear before Parliament following Mark Barnes allegations

Issued by Bridget Masango MP – DA Shadow Minister of Social Development
30 Jan 2018 in News

The DA will write to the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Social Development, Ms Rosemary Capa, to request that she invite Social Development Minister, Bathabile Dlamini, the South African Post Office (SAPO), SASSA and all the Ministers on the Inter-ministerial Committee on Social Services, to urgently appear before Parliament.

This follows fresh allegations from SAPO CEO, Mr Mark Barnes, accusing the Minister of being “nonresponsive and causing delays” in the SAPO’s process of taking over social grants payments from SASSA. Some of Barnes’ accusations include:

  • “Delaying the design of the SASSA card and the specifications of the corporate holding and special disbursement accounts”;
  • “Not cooperating in the finalisation of the biometric engine and integrated grant payment system”; and
  • “Introducing a new workstream”.

These allegations do not surprise the DA, as we have long held that the Minister purposefully bungled SASSA’s efforts to procure an alternative service provider to CPS.

The Minister seems determined to cause yet another social grants crisis in what seems to be an attempt to ensure the continuation of the illegal CPS contract.

With just two months left, the Minister, SASSA and government should be ensuring that the SAPO is ready to pay out social grants, instead of frustrating SAPO’s readiness to take on this mammoth endeavour. 17 million South Africans depend on social grants, and we simply cannot afford any attempts to frustrate this process.

Parliament must now intervene to hold Minister Dlamini accountable and to ensure that the millions of beneficiaries who depend on social grants receive these on the 1st April 2018.