Concerns linger as deadline for Sassa grant payments takeover nears

Sassa has tried to allay fears on whether millions of beneficiaries will get their grants come April.

A Sassa office. @OfficialSASSA/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - With just under a month to go for the SA Social Security Agency (Sassa) to ensure a new grant payment system is in place, concerns linger.

The agency insists it is making progress with the process of insourcing grant payments.

Sassa has tried to allay fears on whether millions of beneficiaries will get their grants come April.

Sassa spokesperson Paseka Letsatsi says: “We need to make sure that everything works according to plan, and 17 million beneficiaries get what’s due to them.”

Letsatsi has emphasized that Sassa’s application to the Constitutional Court, requesting an extension with Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) is not an attempt to keep the service provider.

“We approached the Constitutional Court so that the current payment contract can be able to give the Post Office all the processes without any hindrance.”

The Constitutional Court is due to rule next week on the matter.

SASSA’S SHAMBOLIC MANAGEMENT

A special report by a panel of experts has alluded to Sassa’s shambolic management of how it will pay out grants in cash as from 1 April.

Nearly 3 million beneficiaries receive cash payouts.

The Post Office has already indicated that it will only be able to pay around one million of these because its rural outlets are not suitable for use as cash pay points.

According to a panel of experts, Sassa has not provided it with any evidence that it has audited its existing cash pay points despite the issue being raised repeatedly in earlier reports to the Constitutional Court.