Sassa hopes to extend grant payments contract

The agency says it’s been exploring at least six options for taking over the payment of social grants in line with a 2014 court order.

FILE: Sassa card. Picture: €@OfficialSASSA.

CAPE TOWN - The South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) says it plans to approach the Constitutional Court next week to extend the existing contract of its service provider, to continue with the payment of social grants for at least another year.

It comes on the back of Sassa CEO Thokozani Magwaza giving Parliament the assurance that the payment of grants will not be affected on 1 April when the agency is supposed to be taking over the payments.

The agency has been briefing Parliament on its readiness.

Sassa says it’s been exploring at least six options for taking over the payment of social grants in line with a 2014 court order.

But it’s told Parliament’s social development portfolio committee that three of these options are not feasible if it’s to ensure the continuation of payments on 1 April.

In light of Sassa not having yet procured the services of a bank to make the payments, it says the best option in the short-term is to approach the court to extend the current contract.

Sassa’s Raphaahle Ramokgopa explains: "The only thing that will help us would be to go to court as a matter of urgency and a request the extension.”

The agency says beneficiaries’ payment cards are valid until December 2017 and extending the contract won’t cause any disruption to payouts.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)