Scopa doubts Sassa will meet deadline for new social grants payment partner

MPs said they were convinced that Cash Paymaster Services would once again be called on in the new year to continue paying grants.

A Sassa card. Picture: Supplied

CAPE TOWN – Parliament’s Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) says it’s doubtful that the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) will be able to set up a partnership with the Post Office for the payment of grants by next year’s Constitutional Court deadline.

Sassa’s interim chief executive Pearl Bhengu appeared before the committee for the first time on Tuesday, but she was unable to reveal exactly what transition arrangements would cost.

MPs said they were convinced Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) would once again be called on in the new year to continue paying grants.

Acting Sassa chief executive Pearl Bhengu says it will not be known for at least another two weeks which functions the Post Office will be able to perform to pay social grants.

The answer did not satisfy the IFP's Mkhuleko Hlengwa.

“The risk I want to guard against is that we’re not going to have CPS coming through the back door.”

The ANC's Nyami Booi was also unhappy that officials could not provide an exit plan for terminating the relationship with CPS.

“You are working on the basis that this thing must be delayed. I don't want to tell you about all other things that I know. But this decision, you are not in for it.”

MPs accused Sassa officials of deliberately delaying the takeover plan and for working at a “snail's pace” to ensure CPS was once again required to assist.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)