Donald Trump has his “deplorables” and so does Jacob Zuma. While Trump’s troops might extend over millions of people, President Zuma has a select few villains who are essential to his wrecking ball machinery. Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini is a champion of the deplorables, and despite pushing the country to the brink on the social grants crisis, Zuma still has her back. Like Hlaudi Motsoeneng, Dudu Myeni, Brian Molefe, Faith Muthambi and Mosebenzi Zwane, Dlamini has high-level political protection and will be ready to yank out the “small-nyana skeletons” of her detractors in order to survive. By RANJENI MUNUSAMY.
Social Grants: While Bathabile Dlamini waffles at Scopa, court papers reveal behind-the-scenes chaos
Even the most sympathetic listener at Tuesday’s Scopa meeting addressed by Minister of Social Development Bathabile Dlamini with regard to the payout of social grants after March 31 would have left the session none the wiser. The only “certainty” is that grants will be paid on April 1. Whether the new contract with CPS is legal or whether the company is BEE compliant is still outstanding. Meanwhile CPS, in an affidavit responding to a ConCourt application by the Black Sash, has revealed the behind-the-scenes chaos as it dawned on Sassa that it was nowhere near ready to assume its responsibility as paymaster. The court papers also confirm that CPS sought to increase its current R16.44 per person rate to R25 for a 90-day commitment or R22 for a 24-month fixed contract. Only problem is, the Sassa cupboard is bare. Next week the Minister of Finance has been called to appear at Scopa on the matter. By MARIANNE THAMM.
The National Assembly on Tuesday adopted the hard-hitting report of the parliamentary inquiry into the SABC that recommends an interim board must implement, among other things, forensic audits, governance checks and measures to ensure editorial independence. But the next step of parliamentary oversight is lagging behind – that of finalising the five-strong interim SABC board. At the meeting of the communications committee earlier on Tuesday it emerged that the House was scheduled to debate that matter next Wednesday. This looming deadline finally appears to have galvanised the communications committee into action to whittle down the 17 names submitted last week to the required five. By MARIANNE MERTEN.
Public interest group Freedom Under Law (FUL) has entered the social grant fray, asking the Constitutional Court to order Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini to file with the court all documents relating to negotiations and approvals for any last-minute contract signed with Cash Paymaster Services. By NEWS24.
Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema set the cat among the pigeons again last weekend by saying that the EFF was considering resigning from Parliament in order to force a new round of elections to take place. Can the opposition actually make this come to pass? REBECCA DAVIS dives in.
Marikana and Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) activist Napoleon Webster returns to court on Wednesday on a murder charge. There are accusations that he is being targeted for his work in Marikana, with witnesses claiming he was nowhere near the murder scene. By GREG NICOLSON.
Potholes are a common and serious hazard on Zimbabwe’s roads. But jobless youths have seized on the problem as an opportunity. They fill the potholes with rocks, broken bricks and soil, and ask motorists to pay a “thank you fee”. By PAMELA KELETSO for GroundUp.
Pierre de Vos: New Sassa CPS contract might be illegal – here’s what the ConCourt can do to fix the mess
The Department of Social Development and the SA Social Security Agency (Sassa) have gone to great lengths to avoid asking the Constitutional Court for help to ensure that social grants are paid in a legal and cost-effective manner after the current invalid contract of Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) comes to an end on March 31 this year. To understand why this failure is either catastrophically incompetent or corrupt (or both), it is important to understand why the Constitutional Court’s help is needed and what the court can do to fix the problems created by the Department and Sassa’s incomprehensible conduct.
A Free State provincial department has irregularly awarded a sweeping, open-ended tender to a company owned by one of premier Ace Magashule’s close associates, amaBhungane can reveal. By Tabelo Timse, Sally Evans and Sam Sole for AMABHUNGANE