Panel concerned Sassa dragging its feet over CPS contract extension

In a progress report filed with the Constitutional Court this week, the expert panel recommends an investigation into whether Treasury should not rather be responsible for the payment of grants.

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

CAPE TOWN - An expert panel reviewing the takeover of the grant payment system by the Social Security Agency of South Africa (Sassa) says it is concerned that the agency is dragging its feet in applying for another extension of its contract with Cash Paymaster Services (CPS).

Thursday marks exactly two months until Sassa will have to take responsibility for the payment of social grants.

In a progress report filed with the Constitutional Court this week, the expert panel recommends an investigation into whether Treasury should not rather be responsible for the payment of grants.

Sassa indicated to the Constitutional Court late last year, that it will again not be ready to take over the payment of grants from 1 April and that it plans to ask the court to allow a six month extension.

But in a third progress report to the court, the panel of experts raises concern that this application had by last week, still not been launched.

The panel is recommending that Sassa be compelled to file a transitional plan from CPS to the Post Office for February and March.

It says that Sassa should re-evaluate the number of cash paypoints and retain only those which are absolutely necessary.

The panel is also recommending that the Department of Performance, Monitoring and Evaluation determine whether the agency should in future rather only be responsible for the administration of grants and that the payment thereof be moved to the Treasury.

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