FILE: Public Protector Busi Mkhwebane addressing the media in Pretoria on Thursday. PICTURE: ANA

In The News South Africa

Public Protector pushing ahead with investigation into grants

CAPE TOWN, March 20 (ANA) – Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane is pushing ahead with a two-pronged investigation into welfare grants, in which the Constitutional Court intervened last Friday.

Oupa Segalwe from the Public Protector’s office said the Chapter Nine institution would continue a probe into maladministration of grants, departing from the apparent failure of the department of social development and the South African Social Security Agency to heed the court’s earlier directives on preparing for the State to take over grant payment.

“The Public Protector wrote to the minister of social development and the director general there two weeks ago to say that she will be investigating maladministration there as far as the whole matter of undue delays on the part of the department and Sassa to implement the instructions of the court in this regard.”

The Constitutional Court on Friday, in a judgment scathing of Dlamini, ordered that Cash Paymaster Services continue to disburse social grants to some 11 million recipients and that Sassa report to it quarterly on progress towards taking over this function.

It gave Dlamini until the end of the month to give reasons why she should not be held personally liable for the costs of all parties in the application brought by the Black Sash to ensure grants would continue to be paid, despite the expiry of a flawed contract with CPS on March 31.

Segalwe said Mkhwebane would add to her investigation a complaint laid by the Democratic Alliance, in which the opposition party asked her to probe the relationship between Dlamini and CPS.

“Those two investigations are being lumped together,” he said.

Segalwe said though Mkhwebane had initially also written to Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan to obtain information on possible alternative routes to ensure grant payment, other than retaining CPS, his involvement was no longer necessary following the court ruling.

“Since the court gave its marching orders on Friday, that is no longer necessary. The involvement of the finance minister was purely to obtain information on options that would ensure uninterrupted grant payment.”

– African News Agency (ANA)

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One thought on “Public Protector pushing ahead with investigation into grants

  1. Zabalaza Afrika is a Non Profit Organisation that focuses on the Social Welfare of the vulnerable people in South Africa.
    The latest spat with regards to the obstacles in payments of grants, obliged us to respond with the necessary objectiveness and to put an end to the political opportunism that engulfed this alleged ‘’crisis’’.
    We have noted with alarming concern that the mass paranoia that was created by the media together with political parties, borders on abuse of the freedom of speech, and the motives and intentions is highly questionable.
    ZabalazaAfrika noted the reaction of some political parties, non government organisations and bishops that criticized the Minister of Social Development. The sheer arrogance of calling the Minister of Social Development to resign is uncalled for and worries some. We also noted that the trade union NEHAWU’s cheap low attempt to make use of the situation for their own selfish interest. NEHAWU should be ashamed of themselves for blackmailing the Minister and in return keep the vulnerable hostage, for their disputes with the Government. Are NEHAWU actually serving the people, or ulterior motives in this manner?
    We also noted that some cabinet ministers have alot to say about the grant beneficiaries, but very little to contribute by way of solutions. The irony of these concerns is that they actually want to cause real crises by prohibiting grants to be paid. The question needs to be, is their focus more to discredit the Minister of Social Development rather to assist in providing meaningful contributions?
    In these critiques, we have noticed a common thread….no solutions, self serving intentions, calls to resign, manipulation of the media. None of these actions seem to have the intention of protecting the vulnerable or bottom line, grants being paid out.
    As Zabalaza Afrika we are satisfied in the manner the Minister of Social Development addressed the confusion. She has stood and taken accountability and is actively working at finding a solution. Remember there are various infrastructures, qualified personnel and logistics involved, finding an alternative is not as simple as changing clothes. The Minister is aware of this and is working on a feasible solution, the objective being, the vulnerable receive their grants without ANY disruption. Those actions are commendable, NOT simply being a naysayer. The Minister also illustrated leadership by standing her grounds to speak out for the voiceless. Her main critiques it is discovered is not the grant beneficiaries, grants have been continuously paid timeously and efficiently, the critiques are people that want to serve their own self interest at the cost of the poor.
    Zabalaza Afrika also commits itself to support Minister Dlamini to ensure that she executes her duties without any interference of political opportunism. We will start engaging with grant beneficiaries to organise themselves so they could speak for themselves in the future and not be represented by people that will exploit them.

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