The Constitutional Court’s decision today to grant SASSA’s application to extend the invalid CPS contract for another 6 months, is yet another lifeline for the failing agency.
Although the DA has always been resistant to the unlawful CPS contract, we respect the Court’s decision as it was ultimately made in the best interest of the almost 800 000 cash payment social grants beneficiaries.
The truth is that SASSA never had any contingency plans in place in the event the Constitutional Court refused this application. SASSA has essentially held a gun to the head of the Constitutional Court leaving it with no other option but to extend the unlawful contract with the parasitic CPS.
It is an indictment on SASSA that its affairs had to be overseen by the Courts. This is due to the poor management and planning on the part of the agency under former Social Development Minister, Bathabile Dlamini.
A report by the panel of experts appointed to oversee SASSA’s readiness to take over social grants warned of SASSA and Dlamini’s lack of cooperation and blatant delaying tactics in averting another social grants crisis.
This decision by the Court today has yet again averted a potential crisis but it is now time for SASSA to get its house in order and institutionalise the payment of social grants.
Further, the DA notes that the Constitutional Court has ordered CPS to pay back the R316 million payment it had received from SASSA in 2014, with interest. SASSA must immediately recover these monies without further delay as the unacceptably high instances of irregular expenditure in the department and its agencies must be brought to an end.
The DA will continue to monitor the situation and we maintain that all those involved in this avoidable crisis, including Dodging Dlamini, should be held personally liable for the legal costs.