File image: Minister of Social Development, Bathabile Dlamini at the first Sassa Anti-corruption Conference on November 4, 2013 in Centurion.
JOHANNESBURG – The South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) tried to cut costs by trying to pay grants internally, Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini revealed on Monday.
Last year, National Treasury found the agency&39;s efforts to be irregular.
Dlamini is testifying about why she should not be held liable for the social grants payment crisis of 2017.
"There was a view that we needed a company that needed to work with everything,” Dlamini said.
The minister said when it came to employing another company, “we just knew it was too expensive and we needed to take alternative action... That is when we decided we needed other work streams.”
Asked why she wanted specific individuals on work streams, she said that she did that for the sake of continuity.
"It was important … because they already had some experience when they met with new people,” Dlamini said.
"Without continuity, it means it starts and stops every time we come with new people that have to be prepped as to what&39;s happening. But with people who were involved previously… they continue into the future, they ensure they rope in other people and bring them up to speed."