President Jacob Zuma summoned Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini and Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan to his official residence in Pretoria yesterday in a last-ditch effort to resolve the social grants debacle that has put the welfare of 17 million people at risk‚ the newspaper said.
The urgent meeting at Mahlamba Ndlopfu was convened as evidence emerged that Dlamini’s insistence on her department continuing to use the services of a company whose contract was ruled illegal by the courts was at the centre of a crisis that has led to the resignation of her director-general as well as the sidelining of key staff.
The Sunday Times said it has also seen correspondence between Dlamini and Gordhan in which the two strongly disagree on how to proceed when Cash Paymaster Services’ (CPS’s) invalid contract to distribute social grants ends on March 31.
The grants payment contract was awarded to the company in a controversial tender in 2012. It was declared invalid in 2014 by the Constitutional Court‚ which instructed the South African Social Security Agency to reissue the tender‚ the report said.