Scopa forces Dlamini, Post Office to find amicable solution

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Minister of Women Bathabile Dlamini denies barring eNCA journalists from 16 Days of Activism event on Sunday.

JOHANNESBURG –The  Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) has given Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini and Post Office CEO, Mark Barnes, 24 hours to sort out the tender mess, even if it means sitting through the night.

Members of Parliament said there was no choice but to come up with a solution by then.

The Post Office says it is ready to take over the payment of 17 million grants, while Dlamini says she is opening the tender process later this week.

It is five months before South Africa&39;s Social Security Agency (Sassa) has to take over the distribution of grants but there is no deal in place.

READ: Scopa head threatens vote of no confidence in Dlamini over grants

MPs forced Dlamini and Barnes to cancel their flights home and meet through the night if necessary to break the deadlock.

Meanwhile, some MPs said Dlamini has created yet another crisis to make sure that CPS/Net1 will have to take over the grant payment system.

“They engineered a catastrophe then and they&39;re engineering a one now,” said IFP MP Mkhuleko Hlengwa.

“If it walks like corruption, smells like corruption, looks like corruption and is handled like corruption, then it is corruption," Hlengwa told Scopa Chairperson Themba Godi.

Barnes said Tuesday’s meeting showed signs of progress.

“I think if everyone comes to that table with an honest and unbiased approach towards the matter, there is an obvious and logical solution to this where two departments of state come together to provide a service," he said.

Dlamini, Sassa and the Post Office will have to report back to Parliament on Wednesday evening at 6 pm with a plan.