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Mark Barnes: Post Office capable of managing grants distribution

The Post Office CEO says they have already demonstrated to Parliament that the parastatal is capable of distributing social grants.

Post Office. Picture: Giovanna Gerbi/EWN

PRETORIA – The South African Post Office Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mark Barnes says the state-owned entity intends bidding for the distribution of social grants.

Barnes was speaking at a National Press Club briefing in Pretoria on Wednesday, where he discussed the relevance of the post office to both government and business.

The CEO says they have already demonstrated to Parliament that the parastatal is capable of distributing social grants.

“We followed cash from its source at Treasury to the end user point, and we didn’t find anything in that delivery chain that isn’t replicable at a fairly good cost.”

He says they would offer grant beneficiaries greater protection.

“We are an organ of state and the payment of social grants is a function of the state; so we can contract to protect people’s data under instruction.”

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

In 2014 the Court declared the South African Social Security Agency's contract with provider Cash Paymaster Services was invalid, and ordered Sassa and the Department to find a new distributor.

In March, Sassa's contract with CPS was extended for a year to ensure grants are distributed while a new solution is confirmed.

(Edited by Masechaba Sefularo)

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