Johannesburg – SA’s largest trade federation, the Congress of South African Trade Unions, is demanding that Cash Paymaster Services be probed for corruption.
This comes as the Constitutional Court is set to, on Friday, to rule whether it should oversee any new contract.
The current contract with Net1 unit comes to an end this month, and there are concerns over whether 17 million South Africans will receive their grants come April 1. The state pays more than R170 billion a year to those surviving on grants, and CPS’s deal is worth R10 billion.
It was declared invalid by SA’s highest court in 2014, but allowed to continue as the South African Social Security Agency did not enter a new deal – allowing the CPS agreement to run for the full five years.
On Thursday, Cosatu handed over a memorandum to SASSA CEO and delegates of the Department of Social Development.
In its memorandum, the federation says the grants are under “threat”. President Jacob Zuma has said there is no need to panic, while Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan is sure the grants will be paid.
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CPS and SASSA want to continue their agreement, with CPS saying it’s the only company capable of handling payments. SASSA also has contingency measures, which includes bank transfers and cash deliveries to recipients.
Cosatu says its main concern is that the department has “failed to comply with the Constitutional Court order in relation to the dispensing of the grants. The court has found that the CPS should not be allowed to continue with the disbursement of the funds to social security recipients.”
It adds social security is the most important assistance that poorer communities get from the state.
The federation says CPS must be investigated for “corruption,” without providing any grounds, but also asking that any links between the CPS and politicians be revealed.
It also wants the 2014 Constitutional Court decision that found the initial deal invalid be implemented.
It also echoed calls for Social Development minister Bathabile Dlamini’s head.
“Minister we call for your resignation due to your failure to lead this department. We further call on the President to remove you from office, should you refuse to resign.”
Cosatu has given the minister until March 21, threatening to have a massive protest should she fail to resign.
BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE