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Someone will pay for welfare grants crisis, warns Radebe

Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radede. File picture: Siyabulela Duda

Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radede. File picture: Siyabulela Duda

Published Mar 16, 2017

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Parliament – Presidency Minister Jeff Radebe on Thursday said consequences will follow the failure of the social development department and the SA Social Security Agency to abide by a 2014 Constitutional Court on the distribution of welfare grants in the country.

"Issues of consequence management, they do arise because we can't allow a situation where more than 17 million people... do not get these grants," Radebe said following Wednesday's cabinet meeting.

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Radebe also chairs a ministerial task team, made up of his counterparts in social development, finance, science and technology, home affairs, telecommunications and postal services, and state security dealing with the welfare grants debacle.

He remained silent on exactly who was responsible for what the Constitutional Court on Monday called a crisis. When asked if there were calls in Cabinet for Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini to resign, he responded: "There was no such call at that meeting because the ministerial task team will be looking at it."

He confirmed that all talks between Cash Paymaster Services and the Sassa had been halted pending the outcome of Tuesday's constitutional court case "Yes, on our [ministerial task team] first meeting on Thursday we decided that the discussions between Sassa and CPS must come to an end".

The task team was seeking legal advice to address any unlawful and irregular conduct.

"Our concern at the time was to make sure we need to minimise the negative things that have happened in terms of the Sassa issue, that what we do must be legally and constitutionally unassailable."

On Tuesday, the Constitutional Court reserved judgment after hearing an application by non-governmental organisations to compell Sassa to ensure that grants will be paid in a legal manner come April 1.

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The CPS contract with Sassa runs out at the end of the month after the Constitutional Court in 2014 found the deal was illegal. The invalidity of the contract was suspended until March 31 this year.

African News Agency

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