Today, all eyes are on Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini again.

She is to appear before a joint meeting of the standing committee on public accounts and the portfolio committee on social development.

Speaking in East London, Eastern Cape, Dlamini said Sassa needs four services from the post office as a service provider, including an integrated payment system, banking services, card production and cash payment services.

Minister Bathabile Dlamini

“The post office can only provide an integrated payment system.”

She said another important issue is that Postbank doesn’t have a full banking licence and the post office could supplement the distribution infrastructure.

But after Dlamini left MPs angry for twice failing to appear in the past two weeks, she went on to drop a bombshell yesterday.

She said the SA Post Office doesn’t meet the requirements to distribute social grants.

“Sassa will start another procurement process on 3 November to secure the three services which the post office is not capable of providing.”

Meanwhile, public accounts standing committee chairman Themba Godi said he will push for a debate on Dlamini’s fitness for office if the joint scheduled meeting doesn’t show progress.

“If on Tuesday we don’t get anything solid, my view would be to ask parliament for an urgent debate, in which I will be pushing to pass a vote of no confidence in the minister.”

Social grant distribution service provider Cash Paymaster Services’ contract was handed a lifeline through the Constitutional Court till next year, but MPs fear history will repeat itself with only five months left until the new provider takes over.

Post office spokeswoman Martie Gilchrist said: “We are not commenting on the matter at this point.”

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