Social Grants Crisis: Ramaphosa must ensure Dlamini attends critical SCOPA meeting tomorrow

Deputy President, Cyril Ramaphosa, as the Leader of Government Business, must urgently instruct the Minister of Social Development, Bathabile Dlamini, to attend the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (SCOPA) meeting in Parliament tomorrow.
The DA has written to him this morning to urge him to do so, and also requested that he provides Parliament with an update before the SCOPA meeting, to this effect. Section 56 of the Constitution states that “The National Assembly or any of its committees may require any person or institution to report to it” and therefore the Minister is accountable to Parliament and must account.
Since this crisis emerged and despite the DA’s efforts, Dlamini has evaded every opportunity for accountability. If rumours are to go by, it seems likely that she may do so again tomorrow.
This cannot be tolerated by Parliament or by the Leader of Government Business. Indeed, accounting to Parliament is not optional – Dlamini has no choice but to attend and explain herself to South Africa.
SCOPA has invited Dlamini, as the political head of the Department, to answer questions regarding fruitless and wasteful expenditure within SASSA as well as the current invalid Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) contract.
The DA will accordingly demand that Dlamini provide a complete breakdown on the allegedly signed contract with CPS, including a breakdown of any other costs incurred, and she must make copies of the said contract available.
She must also provide answers on the resignation of Social Development Director-General, Zane Dangor, as her refusal to explain this to date provides a clear indication as to why we are in this mess today.
The truth of the matter is that if Dlamini had even an ounce of integrity, she would have resigned for her role in this growing crisis. Likewise, if Jacob Zuma and the ANC really cared about the poor, and social grant recipients, young and old, he would have fired her as soon as the extent of the mess she created emerged.
The reality is that the ANC doesn’t care about the poor. They only care about lining their pockets – taking as much as they can for themselves.
The DA will not allow this to go unanswered. We will fight the ANC’s attempts to take away people’s grants. Every person who needs a grant, must get a grant, come 1st April 2017.
We are therefore continuing with our application in the Constitutional Court, and with our mass march in Tshwane on 10 March 2017. We will also use every opportunity, inside and outside of Parliament, to make sure this matter is resolved in the interests of 17 million poor and vulnerable South Africans.