Dlamini: Sassa to issue tender for services Post Bank can't provide

The South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) will again be needing the assistance of private contractors to pay social grants in the new year.

FILE: Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini. Picture: GCIS

CAPE TOWN - The South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) will again be needing the assistance of private contractors to pay social grants in the new year.

That's despite a Constitutional Court ruling that the agency take over the payment system by the first of April next year.

Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini has announced another procurement process will start this week for services it says the Post Bank can't provide.

After avoiding Parliament over the past two weeks, Dlamini sought to clarify the grant payment debacle at a press conference in East London on Monday morning.

Dlamini has moved to defend reasons why the social security agency can't award a tender for a full suite of services to the Post Bank.

Among these are; it doesn't have a fully-fledged banking licence and is only able to produce around half of the 4.8 million banking cards.

It also doesn't have the necessary online network connectivity.

She says pay points could not be shut down because beneficiaries have the right to receive their money within a 5-kilometre radius from their home.

The Post Office will now be contracted only to provide an integrated payment system, including biometrics.

Another procurement process will commence on Friday, with a tender award expected to be announced by the end of February 2018, only a month before Cash Paymaster Services must be phased out as a service provider