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Constitutional Court judgement on social grants

The South African Communist Party (SACP) notes today's Constitutional Court judgement ensuring that social grants will be paid on 1 April. This matter should in the first instance have not reached a point where the Constitutional Court is compelled by circumstances to extend an unlawful contract that was awarded to the Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) in 2012. The Constitutional Court found in 2014 that the contract was unlawful and invalid, and gave the Department of Social Development and the South African Social Security Agency to establish a lawful mechanism to disburse social grants. This failed dismally, and the Constitutional Court was called upon to intervene, again. The whole social grants disbursement fiasco, particularly the illegal CPS social grants disbursement contract, must be investigated by means of an independent forensic and possible corruption investigation!

The SACP further welcomes the Constitutional Court order that it "is the Minister (of Social Development) who is required in terms of the Constitution to account to Parliament. That is the Minister, and the minister alone", in this regard, who must shoulder responsibility in terms of the level of accountability required with regard to the social grants crisis. The SACP further welcomes the Constitutional Court order to give the Minister, Bathabile Dlamini until March 31 to show, in an affidavit, why she should not be joined to the matter in her personal capacity and why she should not pay costs of the application from her own pocket.

The SACP congratulates the Black Sash for taking up this matter with the Constitutional Court and the South African Post Office for demonstrating its regard towards the necessity of building a democratic developmental state with strategic discipline and requisite professional, technical and resource capacity to deliver on its mandate. The SACP reiterates its call that the Post Office (Post Bank) must be sufficiently equipped and empowered with sufficient capacity to handle social grants in line with the national imperative to establish it as a state bank rather than rely on profit making private sector financial establishments and unlawful contracts.