By BO Staff Writer
The South Africa Social Security Agency (SASSA) saga is being turned into an opportunity to surrender the lucrative administration of grants to the banks.
Sources close to the departments say the grant crisis has pitted Minister for Social Development, Bathabile Dlamini against Minister of Finance, Pravin Gordhan.
Dlamini has put up a brave fight to ensure that there is no disruption of the grant delivery to the recipients come April 1.
Gordhan on the other hand is said to be working tirelessly to benefit the white owned banks.
What has raised the eyebrows of observers is that Gordhan is rooting for the banks where he has shares and therefore is accused of trying to use the grant crisis for personal gain.
Gordhan is facing a high court application by the Black Consciousness organization Black First Land First (BLF) which wants the court to declare him “conflicted, compromised and captured” because of his shares in banks and other segments of white monopoly capital such as Remgro which is owned by Johann Rupert who is in turn accused of stealing from the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) which is under Gordhan’s Ministry.
Remgro also has 25.8% shares in Unilever, which has been busted by the Competition Commission for cartel conduct.
The fact that Gordhan now wants the grants to go to the same banks will only give credence to the accusation that he is captured by white monopoly capital and doing their bidding. Sources close to the process who have insight into the tough and often rough negotiations say Gordhan has lost the first round to Dlamini, however he still has one more card to play.
It is said Gordhan is planning to reject the new deal Dlamini has clinched with Cash Paymaster Services (CPS).
On the other hand, other sources believe Gordhan may not have the courage to go against Dlamini and pins his hope on the Constitutional Court.
Gordhan hopes the court may reject the agreement Dlamini and CPS have, and therefore open doors for the banks to come in.
This is a highly unlikely possibility but not completely out of the possible. Such a move would bring chaos and affect grant recipients negatively, an eventuality the court would want to avoid.
The jury is still out on whether Gordhan shall master enough courage to carry out his plan and punish the poorest of the poor for banks to profit.