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Sassa, Post Office continue negotiations as deadline looms

Negotiations for an agreement that will see the Post Office take on the responsibility of social grant payments in the new year have been fractious.

FILE: Picture: Sethembiso Zulu/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The South Africa Social Security Agency (Sassa) and Post Office officials remain holed up at this hour as the clock ticks down to a deadline for finalising a new agreement to pay social grants.

The official opposition says it wants any agreement signed to be tabled in Parliament in the interest of openness and transparency.

Last week, the inter-ministerial committee chaired by Minister Jeff Radebe promised that a deal would be concluded by Friday.

Negotiations for an agreement that will see the Post Office take on the responsibility of grant payments in the new year have been fractious.

The Post Office says that through the Post Bank it can do more of the work than Sassa claims.

The agency has said that it will be necessary to enlist external service providers to help do the job.

The impasse has necessitated intervention by Treasury and greater involvement from the inter-ministerial committee.

If an agreement is reached on Friday, it will have to be handed to an expert panel appointed by the Constitutional Court.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)