Sassa races to deal with social grant payment debacle

The Social Security Agency says it's still in talks to ensure all 17 million social grant beneficiaries receive their payments.

FILE: Sassa card. Picture: @OfficialSASSA via Twitter.

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) says it's still in talks to ensure all 17 million social grant beneficiaries receive their payments come 1 April.

Sassa was supposed to file papers in the Constitutional Court earlier this month to ask for an extension for its contract with Cash Paymaster Services.

But the court declared the contract unlawful and an order was given to initiate another tender.

Sassa says it will present a progress report to the Constitutional Court by the end of next month on its developments in awarding a new tender.

Spokesperson Paseka Letsatsi says they have encountered a number of challengers in finding a reputable service provider so far.

“There was a very poor response from the market. Only three organisations responded.”

But he says social beneficiaries will receive their payments in April despite all this.

“We will do everything in our power to ensure that everyone gets their grants without problems.”

Last week, Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini said there was no enmity between her and Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan over claims that she rejected his suggestion to intervene in the social grants contract issue.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)