Despite calls for the axing of Social Development Minister, Bathabile Dlamini, President Jacob Zuma said she would stay put. File picture: Nic Bothma/EPA

Parliament - Despite calls by civil society and opposition parties for the axing of Social Development Minister, Bathabile Dlamini, President Jacob Zuma on Thursday said she would stay put.

Answering questions in the National Assembly, Zuma said the Constitutional Court gave Dlamini an order to solve the problem of replacing Cash Paymaster Services, who's contract to provide grants to around 12 million beneficiaries was declared invalid by the court, with a new service provider.

Zuma said this was why he could not replace Dlamini.

"Minister Dlamini is dealing with the problem of solving the problem that emerged and we have a committee...that has discussed the solution and we are finding a solution. That is a matter we are dealing with," said Zuma.

Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane objected to Zuma blaming apartheid for Dlamini's failures, asking why Zuma did not fire her during several cabinet reshuffles over the past few years.

"What is not a problem of apartheid is Minister Bathabile Dlamini as minister of social development. She is leading from one crisis to the next and now there's a looming crisis...Minister Dlamini is incompetent. She simply can't do the job...," said Maimane.

The president stuck to his guns, saying it was all connected to apartheid.

"The honourable member [Maimane], who was also oppressed, how can he say apartheid didn't do damage. You say Bathabile is not a problem of apartheid. It's a problem of what? You come with innuendo's, I will answer with innuendos," Zuma said.

Zuma, who chairs the inter-ministerial committee dealing with the matter, said Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba is intervening to help the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) and the SA Post Office (Sapo) reach a possible agreement.

Dlamini earlier in the week said the post office was only able to deliver on one of four key functions to provide welfare grants, that function being an integrated payment system. 

However, the post office contradicted Dlamini saying they were able to perform the other function which included the printing of beneficiary cards, providing a fully-fledged banking service and could use cash-in-transit companies to deliver grants to cash beneficiaries.

MPs were left angered and told Sassa to put on ice a tender that was meant to be published on Friday for a service provider who could deliver on the other three functions.

National Treasury is now doing an evaluation to determine the capacity of Sapo to take over the payment of welfare grants.