MPs give Sassa deadline for plan to distribute grants

Parliamentarians have given the Sassa two weeks to come up with a strategic plan on how to distribute grants next year.

FILE: Picture: Supplied.

CAPE TOWN - Parliamentarians have given the SA Social Security Agency (Sassa) two weeks to come up with a strategic plan on how to distribute grants next year.

Briefing the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) on Tuesday, Sassa mentioned that discussions with the Post Office will continue on Wednesday.

Parliamentarians tore into the officials and Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini for a lack of urgency in finding a new paymaster, with the Cash Paymaster Service (CPS) contract running out in 10 months.

Sassa CEO Thokozani Magwaza has told MPs they don't have a plan yet but are hoping Wednesday’s talks with the Post Office will determine whether it can take over grant payments.

”We’re contemplating on the issue of whether the Post Office is going to take over everything or if they’re going to do part of it and we’re going to tender issues that the Post Office may not be able to do.”

MPs are however not convinced about Sassa's readiness to phase out the CPS contract and eventually in source grant payouts.

The IFP's Mkhuleko Hlengwa says: “I will only be convinced by a tangible programme of action timeline, hook, line and sinker, which says to us we’re here, we’re here… I’m not buying this workshop thing.”

Scopa also wants Sassa to provide the committee with a copy of its Constitutional Court submission regarding implementation of the court’s order on the illegal CPS contract.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)