The social grants debacle will continue to dominate the headlines this week as uncertainty continues over the distribution of grants from April. Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan is due to appear before Parliament’s standing committee on public accounts on Tuesday to explain the Treasury’s stance on the payment of social grants by Cash Paymaster Services (CPS). The minister’s appearance before the committee follows that of embattled Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini last week. The South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) has not yet developed a system to pay the grants to 17-million beneficiaries and has been negotiating with CPS — its current service provider — to continue distributing the grants. While Sassa’s contract with CPS was declared invalid and unlawful by the Constitutional Court, the agency has said it would have to renew the CPS deal because there was no viable alternative. The contract expires on March 31. The court has requested data from the department ...

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