Pravin Gordhan, Bathabile Dlamini and the 12-page letter to Jacob Zuma

“Treasury colleagues, together with the Reserve Bank, I think it was in December 2016, spent an extraordinary amount of time trying to find alternative solutions other than CPS, which was an expensive option,” said the former finance minister.

“The Reserve Bank is the body that has the banking regulation function, so they would be able to get banks, for example, to cooperate on a short-term basis to distribute grants or issue cards or whatever the case might be.”

Gordhan told the inquiry that in the letter Dlamini had also accused the Treasury of “bias towards the private sector” when payment options were considered. 

He disputed this accusation, saying the priority for the Treasury was procurement and cost-saving.

“I think it was late December 2016, as I say, after weeks of hard work, a solution either very close to being found or found, it was all turned down.”

Shortly thereafter, the Constitutional Court intervened in the debacle. It later ruled that Dlamini had been “reckless” and “negligent” in her handling of grants payments.

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