A ministerial task team led by Minister Jeff Radebe will appoint new negotiators to strike a deal with Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) to pay social grants, the portfolio committee on social development heard on Wednesday.

Any previous negotiations led by Sassa would be declared void, and the task team which was established last Wednesday would lead the process, SA Social Security Agency grants administrator Dianne Dunkerley told MPs.

Minister in the Presidency Radebe was elected as the team’s chairperson.

Dunkerley said the new negotiation team would be appointed on behalf of Sassa once the Constitutional Court case being heard on Wednesday was concluded.

The new contract with CPS would be limited, and “certainly won’t be a long-term interim contract”.

MPs asked her if the new negotiators had enough time to negotiate in two weeks, before Sassa’s current, illegal, contract with CPS ends.

Dunkerley said they had no further information until the Constitutional Court ruled on the matter, and Treasury signs off on the new directives.

The Black Sash is asking the court to supervise the putting in place of a new arrangement to pay social grants from April 1.

She said Sassa and the department of social development would meet all affected parties in Gauteng on Friday, to keep the general public up to date.

The ministerial task team met on Thursday, Sunday, and Monday this week, she said. Its task is to ensure grants get paid from April 1.

It includes ministers of home affairs Malusi Gigaba, telecommunications Siyabonga Cwele, finance Pravin Gordhan, social development Bathabile Dlamini, state security David Mahlobo, and science and technology Naledi Pandor.

On Tuesday, standing committee on public accounts chairperson Themba Godi said the establishment of the task team showed there was a “crisis of confidence” in Dlamini’s ability as minister.
– News24