The worrisome controversy of a gnawing dispute over the extension of the social grant scheme in South Africa has taken a new twist, after different media reports surfaced, suggesting a face off between the principal actors.

Minister of Social Development Bathabile Dlamini on Friday refuted spurious reports that she rejected

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan’s option regarding the distribution of social grants after the Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) contracts end on March 31.

On Friday, Dlamini said allegations that there is hostility between herself and Gordhan “are malicious and are intended to wedge a division between herself and the minister”.

This follows a statement on Wednesday by Treasury, which said it was dismayed by the suggestion that there was a “war looming” between Gordhan and Dlamini.

In  a related media report, Bloomberg quoted Gordhan in the letter to Dlamini, advising her that continuing the Net1 contract would be unlawful.