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Deadline looms for Sassa to provide social grant payment takeover plan

After weeks of deadlock over reaching an agreement with the Post Office, it remains unclear whether a deal has now in fact been signed.

FILE: Interim Sassa chief executive Pearl Bengu. Picture: @OfficialSASSA/Twitter

CAPE TOWN - The South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) is due to meet a deadline on Friday to provide the Constitutional Court with its plan for the takeover of social grants.

After weeks of deadlock over reaching an agreement with the Post Office, it remains unclear whether a deal has now in fact been signed.

The Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation which has taken charge of the negotiation process, says Minister Jeff Radebe will make an announcement over the weekend.

Sassa is already months behind in implementing a new grant payment system that will see the end of its invalid contract with Cash Paymaster Services.

But after several failed deadlines, today government will have to tell the court what its plan is.

In an affidavit, it is expected to outline roles and responsibilities, precise timelines, desired outcomes and risk-mitigation measures.

It will also have to tell the court what its contingency plan is if it can’t meet the April first deadline.

Last month, Radebe told Parliament that there is no back-up plan. But, he added, that an inter-ministerial committee is committed to a plan that involves the Post Office.

His office says that Radebe will provide detailed information regarding the court submission at a press briefing on Sunday.