It will cost “plus minus” R6-billion and take five more years for the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) to insource the payment of social grants, the social development minister, Bathabile Dlamini, told a committee of Parliament on Wednesday.

Sassa itself has been coy about the details, saying it would only have a plan, with estimated costs, ready for the portfolio committee on social development next week.

But Dlamini took it upon herself to explain that Sassa had none of the critical skills necessary for the job and had too many junior employees. Sassa also had managers who fought change because they feared they would lose their jobs – as they should, because they did not have the necessary qualifications.

Dlamini has been responsible for Sassa for more than six years, since she was appointed to her post in 2010.