18 entities in bid to distribute Sassa grants

A successful bidder will only be phased in after two years if Sassa reaches an agreement with CPS to extend their contract.

FILE: Pensioners queue outside of a supermarket in Mitchells Plain on the 1st of the month to collect their SASSA grants. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - At least 18 bidders have approached the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) to distribute grants.

This emerged when Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini and Sassa officials briefed Parliament's portfolio committee on social development on Wednesday.

There is concern over whether the agency will be able to pay over 17 million beneficiaries in April, when the contract with the current service provider, declared invalid by the Constitutional Court, runs out.

Sassa officials told Members of Parliament the bids have come from banks, private companies and government entities following the close of applications earlier this month.

A successful bidder will only be phased in after two years if the agency reaches an agreement with CPS to extend their contract before the March deadline.

Sassa's Zodwa Mvulane says there's a backup plan if negotiations fail.

“As we are looking into those bids from the 18 service providers we are also considering if we have to do a short procurement process for cash dispensation.”

Another option the agency is looking at is using banks, already linked to grant beneficiaries, to dispense funds.

(Edited by Neo Koza)