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Social grant payments: Committee awaits progress report on Sassa-Sapo deal

A veil of secrecy has been thrown over talks that were expected to yield an outcome by Friday.

FILE: Sassa CEO Pearl Bhengu (left), Telecommunications and Postal Services Minister Siyabonga Cwele and Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini at a media briefing. Picture: EWN

CAPE TOWN - The inter-ministerial committee overseeing negotiations for the takeover of grant payments is expected back before Parliament on Tuesday.

It remains unclear whether the committee will have any significant progress to report.

A veil of secrecy has been thrown over talks that were expected to yield an outcome by Friday.

The committee, led by Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe, promised Parliament two weeks ago that an agreement would be reached between the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) and the Post Office by the end of last week.

But for most of Friday, parties were still trying to thrash out a deal.

The committee is expected to report on progress to a joint meeting of Parliament's Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) and the Portfolio Committee on Social Development.

The Constitutional Court had ordered that details of an agreement be submitted to an expert panel overseeing the process by last Friday.

Civic organisation The Black Sash says it's concerned that with no firm plan in place for grant payments next year, the invalid contract with Cash Paymaster Services will be allowed to continue.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)