Government agency not ready to take over social grant payments

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Government agency not ready to take over social grant payments

Linda Ensor | 2017-02-01 11:34:02.0

Government agency not ready to take over social grant payments.

Image by: Facebook/Alpha Alarms

The South African Security Agency wants to extend the contract with Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) for the payment of R140 billion of social grants to about 17-million beneficiaries by one year‚ from April 1.

This emerged from briefing by agency officials to Parliament’s social development committee on Wednesday.

“This option is the only one that will ensure that beneficiaries will be paid come April 1‚” Sassa executive manager Raphaahle Ramokgopa told MPs.

This option carried “the least risk in terms of service delivery failure‚” she said‚ admitting that Sassa had failed in preparing itself for the takeover of social grants as from April 1.

The contract with CPS was declared invalid by the Constitutional Court and in order for Sassa to extend it beyond the March 31 expiry date‚ it will have to ask the Constitutional Court to further extend the suspension of the invalidity of the contract for phase-out purposes.

Ramokgopa said Sassa would approach the court “as a matter of urgency since this is likely to be virtually the only mechanism to regularise such an approach.”

She envisaged that this application for an extension of one year would be made by February 8.

Ramokgopa told the committee that the medium term plan was for Sassa to use banking infrastructure through limited banking acounts for the payment of social grant payments in the medium term.

The long term plan was for the payments to be made through the national payment system with the South African Post Office being used to extend the social grants payment network.

Special advisor to Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini Sipho Shezi said Sassa had agreed with Treasury and the Reserve Bank on the modalities of the payment system.

The insourcing might not happen as soon as everyone wished but it would happen‚ he said.

– TMG Digital/BusinessLIVE



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