Social development minister Bathabile Dlamini has moved to reassure beneficiaries that social grants will definitely be paid — but on April 3.
“All is on track for the payment of grants‚” the department of social development said in a statement.
“Payments are set to be made on Monday‚ April 3‚ at all of the traditional pay points including merchants‚ points of sale and banks‚ and the national police commissioner has been requested to increase police visibility on that day.”
When the first of the month falls on a weekend‚ grant payments are traditionally shifted to the first working day of the month. To avoid confusion‚ the department warned that its pay points would not be open on April 1.
Beneficiaries endured weeks of uncertainty over whether they would be paid grants‚ since the contract with grant distribution company Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) was supposed to end on March 31.
While the department will now meet its deadline to pay grants‚ all eyes in the coming week will be on whether Dlamini meets a deadline of her own.
She was ordered to submit an affidavit by the end of the month‚ explaining why she should not pay from her own pocket the costs of litigation incurred by NGOs the Black Sash and Freedom Under Law in the Constitutional Court to resolve the social grants payment crisis.
Department spokesman Lumka Oliphant told The Times on Sunday that the minister would comply with the court order and submit her affidavit.