While Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini remains adamant that grants will be paid next month, Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) has warned that unless a decision is taken by the end of Thursday, the payment process simply won't be possible.
Chief Executive Officer Serge Belamant says his company will need at least 12 days to prepare for the payment of grants and Thursday is the deadline to sign an agreement.
“On Thursday we need to have that process in place and working, because if the process falls behind time, then to be honest, regardless of whether we want to pay grants on 1 April, we simply won’t be able to do it.”
He also says CPS will not begin working without a contract.
“The bottom line is that contract terminates on 31 March, which means on 1 April there will be no contract governing what we do.”
The Constitutional Court will hear the terms of the new contract between Sassa and CPS today as well as a detailed explanation of how the selection process was left until this late.
Belamant says it will take a long time for another cash distributor to competently take over the payment of social grants.
“It would take the best of around 18 months, minimum, to be able to perform the same job that we do today.”
The deadline for the pay-out of social grants remains April 1st and 17 million beneficiaries await the results of this debacle with baited breaths.