There is another crisis brewing for government and the ruling ANC over the social grants debacle that threatens to be just as embarrassing as the scandal over Nkandla. This week, President Jacob Zuma and social development minister Bathabile Dlamini sprang into action to mitigate the damage — only it was three years late. In 2014, the constitutional court ruled that government’s contract with Cash Paymaster Services (CPS), a division of the JSE-listed Net1 UEPS, to distribute grants to 17m welfare grant beneficiaries every month, was "invalid". The court ordered that a new tender be run by Dlamini’s department. However, she failed to do so. Now, with CPS’s original five-year contract due to expire at the end of March, Dlamini has also failed to appoint anyone else to distribute the grants. At the eleventh hour, she now wants CPS to continue distributing grants on an emergency basis for the next two years — only at a much greater cost to the taxpayer. It has created an intense politi...

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