Social development minister Bathabile Dlamini made a long-awaited appearance before parliament’s Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) on Tuesday.
Dlamini was due to appear before the committee last week‚ but did not show up‚ angering members of the committee‚ who had wanted to grill her on the status of the social grants programme.
Scopa chairman Themba Godi has made no secret about his views on Dlamini’s handling of the grants saga.
Terms for new CPS contract unclear yet, I understand that staff have been threatened to keep everything secretive. Th inevitable must happen
— Themba Godi (@themba_godi) March 4, 2017
We have written to Minister Dlamini to appear b4 Scopa next Tuesday . SASSA matter more urgent. She is creating tension. She wil be stopped
— Themba Godi (@themba_godi) March 1, 2017
Dlamini has faced a barrage of criticism in recent weeks‚ as the fate of 17 million grant recipients remains unclear.
The minister has assured beneficiaries that their grants will be paid from April 1‚ after months of uncertainty around the social grant distribution agency. The contract of the current agent‚ Cash Paymaster Services (CPS)‚ expires at the end of this month. But Dlamini’s department has struggled to explain who will take over‚ given that CPS’s previous contract was declared irregular by the Constitutional Court.
The minister said on Sunday that a new contract with CPS had been negotiated‚ but had yet to be signed.