Panel recommends Sassa officials be probed over roles in grant payment crisis

The panel, which is overseeing a process to migrate the social grant payment scheme, has delivered a second scathing report to the Constitutional Court on the agency’s handling of the situation.

Picture: Supplied

CAPE TOWN - A court-appointed panel of experts is recommending that officials of the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) be investigated, and even prosecuted for their role in the social grant payment crisis.

The panel, which is overseeing a process to migrate the social grant payment scheme, has delivered a second scathing report to the Constitutional Court on the agency’s handling of the situation.

This comes as Parliament heard on Tuesday morning that the Post Office has been asked to play a greater role in the payment of grants from next year, than the initial offer made last month.

But an agreement is still some days away.

The panel of experts reporting to the Constitutional Court believes Treasury should investigate all Sassa employees who have been involved in issuing contracts to service providers related to the payment of social grants since 2016.

The panel, which includes Auditor-General Kimi Makwetu and former Reserve Bank Governor Gill Marcus, says it must also be determined whether any Sassa employees should be prosecuted.

The Democratic Alliance’s Tim Brauteseth says that Parliament should ensure that these recommendations are followed through.

“We cannot in the glow of this happy announcement that there is progress and forget that certain people brought us to where we are.”

The panel recommends that the director-general of Treasury should submit an affidavit to the court on the outcome of an investigation and of any prosecutions.