Both the parliament’s Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) and Cosatu are accusing minister Bathabile Dlamini of failing in her responsibilities to resolve the Sassa crisis.
The criticism comes after the minister reportedly snubbed any opportunities during a weekend briefing, to discuss the department's plans with any certain terms towards resolution.
Speaking to EWN after the briefing in Pretoria, the committee chairperson, Themba Godi says, “I mean she just came out to confirm herself that she’s not sure about how payments will be done. What more do you need to create this uneasiness on herself?”
The contract, which was signed between Sassa and Cash Paymaster Services (CPS), was halted in 2014 by the Constitutional Court who deemed the tender was invalid and therefore rendered the contract unlawful.
Godi says the committee advised Sassa without success on possible alternatives.
Although Sassa has since stated that it holds no obligation the Constitutional Court, it has faced difficulty in cementing a plan to pay-out around 17 million South Africans who are dependent on social grants.
This has drawn the ire of Cosatu who issued a statement on Friday appealing to the presidency to intervene. “Heads need to roll at Sassa. The minister and her team in the department need to take political responsibility for this crisis by resigning or be dismissed.”
Dlamini has dismissed criticism and instead repeatedly stated that there are no feasible alternatives to ensure beneficiaries receive pay-outs without the involvement of CPS.
Cited contingencies by Scopa include the participation of local banks and post-offices across the country, yet Dlamini believes that neither of those options lack necessary resources.
However, Scopa remains adamant that even if the contract stays with CPS, certain checks and balances must be observed before satisfaction.
Scopa has requested that Dlamini appear before the committee on Tuesday to give a full and satisfactory explanation on the situation as the 1 April pay-out deadline looms closer.