Thursday, 26 April 2018
In papers filed yesterday to the Constitutional Court, Social Development Minister Susan Shabangu informed the court that she has taken the drastic decision to suspend the SASSA tender to procure a services provider for the cash payment of social grants. This comes just weeks after the Court awarded a further a six-month extension to Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) to make cash payments.
The reasons provided by the Minister are: that the specifications do not provide critical technical information needed to build a proper costing model to make a tender submission and the Bid Evaluation Committee appointed to evaluate the tender process do not have the required technical expertise.
In March 2018, the Black Sash cautioned about the lack technical information provided to bidders by SASSA and the implications for timeframes.
Now, the Minister has taken the drastic step to suspend the tender. It is highly unlikely that a new service provider will be appointed and fully operational by end-September 2018. We are working with shifting deadlines yet again, as the Minister papers give no indication of new timeframes for this tender process. The Black Sash urges the Minister to put in place a contingency plan for cash payments to avoid yet another extension of the CPS contract.
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