Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini has appointed KwaZulu-Natal regional manager Pearl Bhengu as interim CEO of the SA Social Security Agency (Sassa). By NEWS24.
Pearl Bhengu replaces CEO Thokozani Magwaza who left the agency earlier this week amidst reports that he was pushed out following disagreements with Dlamini on the distribution of grants.
Bhengu has been serving as the Sassa regional manager in KwaZulu-Natal since 2012.
“The minister stated that the first priority of the acting CEO is to stabilise the agency and to ensure that it focuses on its constitutional mandate of administering and paying social grants in line with the Sassa Act,” Dlamini’s spokesperson Lumka Oliphant said in a statement.
Magwaza and Dlamini have disagreed on using the South African Post Office Bank to distribute grants and also disbanded the working streams created by Dlamini to work out a plan to phase out Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) as the distributor of grants.
Magwaza was the second senior official to leave because of differing views with Dlamini.
Former social development director general Zane Dangor resigned in March, citing a breakdown in the relationship between himself and Dlamini. This was due to their disagreement about Sassa’s legal obligations to the Constitutional Court.
Sassa and the social development department face a tight deadline to end the contract with CPS to distribute grants by March next year. DM
Photo: Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini at a media briefing by Interministerial Committee on Immigration held at Tshedimosetso House in Hatfield, Pretoria. 2842015 Photo: Kopano Tlape GCIS