Sassa’s R3m bill for grant takeover preparations

Between April 2015 and February 2016 Sassa has spent R3 million preparing senior executives and managers for the takeover of grant payments.

Minister of Social Development Bathabile Dlamini. Picture: GCIS.

CAPE TOWN – Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini has revealed to Parliament the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) has spent more than R3 million preparing senior executives and managers for the takeover of social grant payments.

But this will not be happening for at least the next year after a Constitutional Court ruling earlier this month to extend the contract with the current service provider.

Dlamini has given grant recipients the assurance payouts will not be affected this weekend.

In a written reply to a parliamentary question from the Democratic Alliance (DA) on what training Sassa managers received for the takeover of social grant payments, Minister Dlamini has revealed the agency adopted a two-phase approach to the takeover of grants.

She says executives and senior managers had to be trained and existing staff had to be strategically placed.

Senior managers were sent to areas outside of their provinces to strengthen their managerial skills.
But this all came at a cost.

Between April 2015 and February this year over R3 million was spent on accommodation in hotels and apartments and additional R200,000 on transport costs.

In another question from the DA, Dlamini has also revealed Sassa has not yet presented its proposed payment model to National Treasury.

She says this will be done in due course and will be within her department's existing budget.

(Edited by Masechaba Sefularo)