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‘Sassa, CPS debacle could leave grant recipients stranded'

A Constitutional Court hearing is due to be held next Tuesday to consider an application to continue using the services of controversial grants disburser CPS.

FILE: Pensioners queue outside of a supermarket in Mitchells Plain on the 1st of the month to collect their Sassa grants. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN

CAPE TOWN - With a little more than a month to go before the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) is set to take charge of the grant payment system, many factors still hang in the balance.

A Constitutional Court hearing is due to be held next Tuesday to consider an application to continue using the services of controversial grants disburser Cash Paymaster Services (CPS).

This as a court-appointed panel of experts raises more concerns that a breakdown in payments after 30 March appears to be increasingly likely.

In a special report filed with the Constitutional Court, the panel of experts led by Auditor General Kimi Makwetu, says it's deeply concerned about the impact and implications of recent developments regarding the payment of social grants.

These include CPS indicating it doesn't want to extend its working relationship with Sassa.

The Democratic Alliance’s (DA) Bridget Masango wants the inter-ministerial committee, led by Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe, to convene an urgent meeting of those involved.

“With no current alternatives to CPS and Sassa and failure to find an alternative service provider, it’s ultimately the grant recipients who will be left stranded if an urgent solution is not found.”

On Friday, CPS obtained the go-ahead from the Constitutional Court to tender for services Sassa still needs to procure, including the disbursement of cash payments to grant beneficiaries.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)

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