Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini and the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) have proposed an 18-month contract with Cash Paymaster Service (CPS) to ensure social grants are paid.
They have argued that service provider CPS is the only company able to distribute grants at this point, but Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng remains unimpressed.
The Constitutional Court declared the CPS contract invalid in 2014 that the contract expires at the end of this month, with no alternative solution.
Andrew Breitenbach who represents, Minister Dlamini and Sassa, says there are two viable options to ensure social grants are paid come the first of next month.
Breitenbach says the first is for the court to extend the current contract with CPS for up to 18 months, or draw up a new contract for 18 months.
But the Chief Justice says he's not convinced – bearing in mind that Sassa claimed it could take over the payments.
“Sassa would have to be very incompetent, saying that they miscalculated or they were over ambitious in relation to their core business.”
Judgment has been reserved while parties wait anxiously for a decision on the way forward.