PEARL Bhengu is the new acting CEO of the South Africa Social Security Agency
Yesterday’s announcement of her appointment follows the dismissal of CEO Thokozani Magwaza earlier this week.
Bhengu has been a Sassa KZN regional manager since 2012.
A statement from social development spokeswoman Lumka Oliphant read: “Minister Bathabile Dlamini stated that the first priority of the acting CEO was to stabilise the agency and ensure it focuses on its constitutional mandate of administering and paying social grants in line with the Sassa Act.”
Magwaza and Dlamini had disagreed over the use of the SA Post Office to distribute grants. He is the second senior official to leave because of disagreements with Dlamini.
Former director general Zane Dangor resigned in March, blaming a breakdown in the relationship between himself and the minister due to their dispute over Sassa’s legal obligations to the Constitutional Court.
The agency faces a tight deadline to end the contract with Cash Paymaster Services to distribute grants by March.
Bhengu made headlines when the death threats directed at her and KZN manager Darius Nysschens cost taxpayers over R1,4 million a year for four bodyguards and two security vehicles.
The threats included those made by staff subjected to disciplinary hearings for fraud and agents defrauding the grants payment system.
Dlamini said former chief executive Virginia Petersen was given the risk analysis reports that informed the decision to protect the two.