‘Sassa delay a deliberately manufactured situation’

Scopa chairperson Temba Godi.

Scopa chairperson Temba Godi is seemingly furious at the news that Sassa has approached the constitutional court seeking a further extension to its invalid social grant distribution contract with Cash Paymaster Services (CPS).

Speaking to ANN7 on Friday, the chairperson of parliaments watchdog committee decried the request for a further extension as ‘intolerable’ and ‘a deliberately manufactured situation’.

On Thursday Sassa national spokesperson Paseka Letsatsi said the additional six months requested would allow for a smooth process of phasing in and phasing out of the CPS contract, while Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini added that the contract extension request is a decision of the Inter-Ministerial Committee.

However, Godi said that Scopa had met with the social services agency on a number of occasions to impress upon them the need to stick to agreed-upon timelines in order to avoid such a situation.

“Initially we were told that this would start around November, December but they delayed signing the contract with the post office and only signed the contract in December, therefore, creating a situation where it is impossible for the post office to take over,” he said.

According to Godi Sassa and the IMC have already been summoned to appear before Scopa in order to explain to the committee the reasoning behind its request for a further extension.

“They must prepare themselves for a big fight because we will not accept this, these are things we have always been telling them and they have repeatedly assured us that we are serious and we will meet our deadlines.”

The IMC is scheduled to appear before Scopa on February 20.

Yesterday National Health Education & Allied Workers Union (Nehawu) also rejected the notion of any contractual extension to CPS.

The union said they were surprised by this as the contract was declared illegal and invalid.

“As Nehawu, we hold the strong view that it is disingenuous for the department to now claim that they need a ‘phase in and phase out process’ when they were well aware that they need to cut ties with CPS come March.”

-Siphiwe Mchunu