Cosatu has reiterated its call for Minister Bathabile Dlamini to resign or be fired. Picture: Masi Losi
Johannesburg – Cosatu has reiterated its call for Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini to go.

It has also urged the department and the South Africa Social Security Agency (Sassa) to ensure that 17 million grant recipients are paid in April.

Cosatu leaders in the Western Cape, who picketed outside Parliament on Sunday, said the grants were a matter of life and death to the beneficiaries.

Tony Ehrenreich, Cosatu’s provincial secretary in the Western Cape, called for the grants crisis to be addressed urgently.

“The leaders have come here today to make it a point that this is an important matter. It must be addressed urgently,” he said, adding that Dlamini had failed to provide leadership.

Ehrenreich said Cosatu was concerned about what was going on in the department, saying the grants stood between starvation and putting food on the table for the millions of beneficiaries.

Responding to mounting calls that she resign or be fired by President Jacob Zuma, Dlamini told the standing committee on public accounts (Scopa) last week that she did not join the ANC to be a cabinet minister.

She said it was the prerogative of the president to hire and fire ministers.

Zuma, on the other hand, had constantly said the issue of the grants would be resolved.

Dlamini and Sassa will be in the Constitutional Court this week over the Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) contract, after the highest court in the land demanded answers.

Meanwhile, Scopa said it believed the appearance of Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan before it tomorrow would shed light on the grants crisis and the CPS contract.

Scopa said Gordhan, a critical player in how the grants crisis had unfolded, had earlier warned the Department of Social Development and Sassa about what was happening.

Gordhan confirmed to Scopa that he would attend Monday’s meeting in Parliament, and its chairperson, Themba Godi, said they hoped Gordhan would clarify a number of questions on the CPS contract.

Godi said despite assurances that grants would be paid on April 1, they were concerned about whether this would be done in line with the law governing the issuing of tenders.

He said the prescripts of the law had to be followed in any new payment arrangement for the 17 million beneficiaries.

Gordhan’s meeting with Scopa comes after the committee decided that Dlamini’s appearance last week had left them with more questions than answers.

The Star