The African National Congress (ANC) has rebuked its members and alliance partners for calling on members of President Zuma’s executive to resign.
Speaking through its spokesperson, Zizi Kodwa, the ANC said calling on Zuma’s executives to step down is not the responsibility of members but the government.
Kodwa was particularly responding to the growings calls for one of Zuma’s executive members – Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini – to step down.
He said: “The cacophony of noise for a minister to resign from the structures and alliance of the ANC is not helping the situation.
The cacophony of noise for a minister to resign from the structures and alliance of the ANC is not helping the situation.”
Since February, several organizations and structures in the country have called on Dlamini to step down for the manner in which she is handling the matter of Sassa’s readiness to distribute social grants to 17 million beneficiaries come April 1.
The call was first made by the Corruption Watch, followed by the Democratic Alliance (DA), the Congress of South African Trade Union (Cosatu) and the Methodist Church of Southern Africa.
Corruption Watch described the SASSA internal crisis as the most serious scandal to emerge in democratic South Africa.
Cosatu insisted that Dlamini’s head and that of senior leaders at the department must roll because they failed to act decisively with regards to irregular expenditure and tender processes.
In a statement released last Friday, the Methodist Church of Southern Africa said it will be ideal for Dlamini to be fired.
The Democratic Alliance also called for Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini to be fired and for Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan to take the reins in the social grants crisis.
The party asserted that it doesn’t trust Dlamini with the livelihoods of 17 million South Africans. It equally called on President Jacob Zuma to hand over the negotiations of the grants payment process to Gordhan.
Weighing afterward, Anglican Archbishop Emeritus Njongonkulu Ndungane said the social grant debacle is enough reason for the minister to resign or to be sacked.
The Department of Social Development and its agency SASSA have been making news headlines for the lack of readiness to take over the distribution and administration of social grants when the contract with CPS expires at the end of the month.
South African social grant payments are administered and distributed by Cash Paymaster Services (CPS), a subsidiary of US-based Net1 UEPS Technologies.
In 2014, the Constitutional Court (ConCourt) declared Sassa’s contract with CPS invalid after it emerged irregular tendering processes were followed in the awarding of the tender.
On Wednesday, Parliament’s social development committee apologized for the social grants crisis. The committee, however, urged people “to be calm” and wait for briefings from the committee and the government.
Sassa now has until March 31 to secure a new service provider to distribute grants to 17 million people, as ordered the Constitutional Court.