Sassa in need of major skills boost to continue paying grants

At the end of August, Sassa employed 9,349 permanent staff but has an approved establishment of more than 18,000 permanent posts.

A Sassa Card. Picture: Supplied.

CAPE TOWN - The South Africa Social Security Agency (Sassa) says it will need major skills boost if it's going to meet its mandate of paying social grants.

Sassa must meet a Constitutional Court deadline to take over payments from Cash Paymaster Services, but Parliament's Social Development Committee has on Wednesday heard there are over 10,000 vacancies in the agency.

At the end of August, the agency employed 9,349 permanent staff but it has an approved establishment of more than 18,000 permanent posts.

This means it is operating on a vacancy rate of 52%.

Acting Sassa chief executive Pearl Bhengu says external human resources experts will be needed to help build capacity.

“It is huge work in progress in HR until ultimately we get the requisite skills for the people who will be needed to do the payments.”

In this financial year, there's only money to fill around 220 vacant posts.

Bengu says Sassa's staffing structure will have be to reviewed in light of new responsibilities.