Panel says Sassa’s grant payments takeover plan thin on details

The panel has highlighted a number of issues it says have not been adequately addressed, as the takeover date of the first of April edges closer.

FILE: Sassa cards. Picture: SAPS

CAPE TOWN – An expert panel evaluating South African Social Security Agency (Sassa)’s progress to take over the grant payment system, says the agency’s reports to the Constitutional Court are thin on detail.

In its latest evaluation report filed with the court this week, the expert panel says that it is concerned because Sassa has not yet applied to extend its contract with Cash Paymaster Services for another six months.

The panel has highlighted a number of issues it says have not been adequately addressed, as the takeover date of the first of April edges closer.

In a report to the Constitutional Court last year, Sassa intimated it will need to continue using the services of Cash Paymaster Services for another six months.

The expert panel, led by the Auditor-General, says that this is solely due to the agency’s failure to timeously and properly execute its mandate.

It says that the agency’s plan for the takeover is too general and its timelines are too vague.

The panel is also questioning the effectiveness of the communication plan designed by government to inform beneficiaries of the transition.

It adds that the current system of dealing with beneficiaries’ complaints, is wholly inadequate.

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