Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan says government's first objective must be to ensure millions of grant beneficiaries receive their payments next month and only then can the focus shift to determining who is responsible for the crisis.
Gordhan has briefed Parliament's standing committee on public accounts (Scopa) on National Treasury's role in the current crisis.
The minister says if the social development department decides to enter a new interim agreement with Cash Paymaster Services it must be for a short-term.
Gordhan says Treasury will do everything possible to make sure that grants are paid out in the most cost-effective way in 17 days.
“I don’t think we should generate panic at all. I think the judicial and administrative processes will find a way to ensure grants are paid on 1 April and do so in the most transparent way as possible.”
Social Development Minister, Bathabile Dlamini, said today that it preferred the intervention of the Auditor-General and the office of the Public Protector to oversee a new deal with Cash Paymaster Services. She explained, in papers filed to the Constitutional Court, that the duration of the deal would satisfy the Treasury’s request of lasting only the necessary amount of time to ensure pay-outs come 1 April.
The Constitutional Court has yet to deliver a statement on the papers filed by Minister Dlamini and her team.