PRESIDENT Jacob Zuma is confident that people will get their grants on 1 April.

Zuma was speaking at the Union Buildings following his presidential co-ordinating council meeting with ministers, premiers and some local government officials.

He told journalists: “I have instructed the two ministers to ensure that it happens; there’s nothing that says it shouldn’t happen. If that is the case, you will realise what will happen – because we can’t have old people not getting their money simply because people are busy looking at their own thing. That’s why I’m saying cool down as a country.” 

Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini, has to explain to the Constitutional Court next Wednesday why her department failed to act on a previous order it handed down in 2013.

The court found that the contract Sassa had with Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) was invalid and unconstitutional. The contract expires at the end of March, but no other service provider has been secured to take over the task.

Dlamini appeared on Tuesday before Parliament’s standing committee on public accounts (Scopa). She said a new contract was being negotiated with CPS.

In the same briefing, the president brought up the recent violence that has been widely reported on as being xenophobic.

"We've taken a decision to compile a report so that those countries that are complaining about their citizens, we need it to indicate correctly what are the challenges and why people think at times when there are incidents they must in a sense act in a particular way."

But he insisted South Africans were not xenophobic and questioned why, when similar things happened in Europe, it was called something else.

"It's a fact Europeans do not want Africans, they are closing their borders. Why are we not calling xenophobia, but it's called something else," questioned Zuma.

''It's like corruption. When it's black, it's termed corruption, but when it's white or business it's called collusion," he said.