Sassa facing intense scrutiny over social grant payments deal

There are just three months to go to implement its agreement with the Post Office to pay social grants.

A Sassa office. @OfficialSASSA/Twitter

CAPE TOWN - If 2017 appeared to be a rough year for the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa), it has only set the tone for what is to come in 2018.

There are just three months to go to implement its agreement with the Post Office to pay social grants.

Not only will Sassa have to answer to the Constitutional Court and Parliament, but its officials could also face sanction this year if the National Treasury decides to investigate their role in the grants payment debacle.

"There is no crisis at Sassa," a defiant Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini said in Parliament ten months ago, at the height of last year's social grants crisis.

To avoid a repeat of events that played out last year, Sassa will be facing scrutiny from all sides this month.

It will have to file the first of a series of monthly progress reports with the Constitutional Court on its implementation plan.

A panel of experts, which to date has been scathing of Sassa's handling of the takeover system, is also due to file its third report this month, detailing its observations.

The inter-ministerial committee will have to appear before Parliament's Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) and the portfolio committee on Social Development to discuss the nitty-gritty of the Post Office deal.