Picture: Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini. IOL.

CAPE TOWN - Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini has challenged those who have accused her of benefiting personally from South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) to prove it. 

Dlamini said on October 31 that she was committed to terminating a contract with Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) and to work with the Post Office. However, parties are opposed to this, in fear of the form the partnership would take. 

In addition, another deadline was missed to enter into an agreement with the Post Office for the payment of social grants. Officials were subsequently sent back to the negotiating table yesterday. Dlamini contends that she remains committed to working with the Post Office. 

“We are not malicious. We are going to sit together see if we find ourselves. But we’re ready, we are late already. If we keep on postponing, we might again get a big hiding as social development”, said Dlamini. 

READ ALSO: D-Day for #Sassa to finalise social grants deal with Post Office

In response to whether she was benefitting from an agreement with current service provide, CPS, Dlamini fired back by saying:

"Payroll? They must show that. Kickbacks? They must show that".

Notably, the lives of 17 million grant beneficiaries are affected by this decision. Sassa had said before a joint meeting on October 30 that SA Post Office (Sapo) could only deal with integrated biometrics. 

The social security agency said this on the grounds that Sapo did not have the capacity nor the capability for grant payments. Sapo has since scrapped this claim by maintaining that they have met 97% of the requirements contained in the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) due diligence report commissioned by Sassa.

Sapo’s board chairman Comfort Ngidi said the Post Office had previously paid social grants. "You can test whether we can do it or not. We have already been tested", Ngidi said.

The entities who will decide on the payment service have been given until 6 pm today to reach an agreement. 

- BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE