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Susan Shabangu changing tack on social grant payments

The Social Development Minister says she wants to reduce the number of cash beneficiaries before the court’s 31 August deadline to end the contract with Cash Paymaster Services.

FILE: Social Development Minister Susan Shabangu. Picture: GCIS

CAPE TOWN - Social Development Minister Susan Shabangu wants to migrate all beneficiaries who currently receive their grants in cash from the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) pay points to the Post Office by the end of August.

She’s told the Constitutional Court that a major communication campaign will be launched in June to assist the 2.2 million beneficiaries in getting the newly-issued Sassa card.

Shabangu says it’s her intention that as of September, beneficiaries who receive their money in cash from Sassa pay points, will instead be paid at the more than 800 Post Office outlets.

Shabangu is changing tack after Sassa decided to cancel the tender for a new service provider to pay grants in cash.

In her second report to the Constitutional Court, Shabangu says she wants to reduce the number of cash beneficiaries before the court’s 31 August deadline to end the contract with the current service provider, Cash Paymaster Services.

The minister says the technical committee she appointed in May will be focussed on implementing the migration strategy in June. Beneficiaries will be encouraged to get the new Sassa cards that the agency started distributing in May.

Those who can’t access a Post Office will be encouraged to get their money from a bank or merchant linked to the grant payment system.

On the advice of the court’s panel of experts, Shabangu says she’s considering the appointment of procurators to assist the disabled in cashing their pension or grant in cases where they cannot physically access an outlet themselves.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)