SAPO CEO: Grants distribution should be a govt competency

The ConCourt has given the social development department until March next year to appoint a new service provider.

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

JOHANNESBURG – Post Office Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mark Barnes says the distribution of social grants should be driven by cost-effectiveness and certainty of delivery not profits.

Barnes was speaking at a briefing in Pretoria on Wednesday when he confirmed the parastatal would be bidding to take over the social grants contract.

The Constitutional Court has given the Social Development Department until March next year to appoint a new service provider.

Barnes argues that the distribution of social grants should be a government competency.

“If it is possible for a state function to be completed within the state, competently and competitively, that’s where it should reside.”

He says grant distribution is a government service.

“It’s not a private sector feast. That is the obligation that government has to service its people. The drivers of that business should be cost-effectiveness and certainty of delivery, not profitability.”

Barnes believes the parastatal will become a critical element in financial inclusion.

(Edited by Masechaba Sefularo)