JOHANNESBURG - Work streams appointed to Sassa on the recommendation of the Social Development Minister accomplished almost nothing.
That’s according to the department’s former Director General, Zane Dangor, who was testifying during a commission led by former Gauteng Judge President, Bernard Ngoepe.
Dangor, a former adviser to the Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini flagged further problems with the work streams.
Last year, Treasury told the Standing Committee on Public Accounts about irregularities in these work streams.
Government paid at least R47-million for work streams appointed to address the social grants crisis.
#SASSA: The inquiry into Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini's role in the social grants debacle continues today. eNCA's @MikeMarillier unpacks the latest. Courtesy #DStv403 pic.twitter.com/KJCassD9u6— eNCA (@eNCA) February 2, 2018
Dangor was the last witness to present evidence in an inquiry at the Office of the Chief Justice on Friday.
He was previously a special adviser to Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini.
Dangor has criticised the minister’s role in managing the social grants crisis.
He says the work streams she appointed in 2016 did little to assist the government in bringing social grants in-house.
#SASSA The social development minister has contradicted herself under oath.— eNCA (@eNCA) January 24, 2018
Bathabile Dlamini answered questions on the second day into an inquiry into whether she should personally pay for the Constitutional Court case on social grants. eNCA’s @ermbates is live now on #DStv403
“We also gave the work streams the benefit of the doubt and asked them to report back to us. The 5th of October really hit me that they were nowhere near ready. That very little work was done by the work streams, of note. Very little work was done by the work streams that could tell us that, by the 1st of April, this will happen legally. Twenty-second of October, on the fifth of October we asked the work streams to give us a firm plan, on the 22nd of October a meeting took place at the minister’s house, the minister chaired it, there was no firm plan in place, again", said Former Social Development Director General, Zane Dangor.
Work streams were set to look into IT, banking and biometrics.
Dangor said it was not uncommon for the government to appoint work stream leaders.
But he was worried about the chain of command between Dlamini and the social development work stream.
“What was a problem was the suggestion that that work stream reports directly to the minister, and not to the minister via exco. It may not be illegal, but in terms of governance and communication, it is a serial, serious concern.
"Given the context that we are in and that Sassa plays such a crucial role in actually meeting our constitutional duties in terms of social assistance," said Dangor.