Sassa asks ConCourt to approve grant contract extension

The agency now wants the highest court in the land to approve the extension of its contract with its grant payout service provider.

A Sassa card. Picture: Supplied

CAPE TOWN – The South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) has now asked the Constitutional Court to approve the extension of its contract with its grant payout service provider.

In 2014, the same court found that the contract with Cash Paymaster Services was invalid, because a proper procurement process was not followed.

The contract expires at the end of the month.

This could leave millions of social grant dependents in the lurch.

Parliament's standing committee on public accounts lambasted the Social Development Department and Sassa officials for not finding an alternative solution since the ruling in 2014.

Many Members of Parliament (MPs) have questioned whether Sassa will be able to ensure millions of payouts are made to beneficiaries in April.

Sassa filed papers with the Constitutional Court on Tuesday, weeks after it initially indicated it would.

The agency wants the court to allow it to engage with Cash Paymaster Services about a new interim contract for another year.

In an accompanying affidavit, Sassa CEO Thokozani Magwaza states endeavours to procure a new tender have been unsuccessful and their own ability to administer grant payments is limited.

(Edited by Tamsin Wort)