MPs concerned over Sassa’s readiness to takeover grant payments

Opposition parties say they are deeply concerned that Sassa will not be ready to take over the social grant payment system by 1 April.

FILE: Picture: Twitter/€@OfficialSASSA.

PARLIAMENT - Opposition parties say they are deeply concerned that the Social Security Agency (Sassa) will not be ready to take over the social grant payment system by 1 April.

A parliamentary meeting to discuss Sassa's readiness was cancelled at the eleventh hour this week because Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini is in Ethiopia on African National Congress Women's League (ANCWL) business.

On Wednesday, Parliament's committee on social development was due to receive a detailed report on Sassa's plans to start paying social grants to over 17 million recipients from April.

The official reason given for the meeting's cancellation was that the minister and Sassa officials would be attending the ANC lekgotla, which is currently underway.

A Sassa spokesperson says this is not true and that the CEO is in office.

The Democratic Alliance's Bridget Masango says Sassa has repeatedly failed to provide information requested.

"The members of the portfolio committee should be given access to the plans with budgetary implications for the institutionalisation of the grant payment system."

The Inkatha Freedom Party says the minister's no show is an indication that she's not fit to hold office.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)