Panel questions Sassa’s arrangement with Post Office
The panel of experts says it’s unlikely the Post Office will meet its own deadline to obtain portable cash machines to dispense grants to beneficiaries in rural areas by July.
CAPE TOWN - The South African Social Security Agency’s (Sassa) plan to have the Post Office pay social grants in cash from September is being called into question.
The panel of experts appointed by the Constitutional Court to monitor the agency’s progress in institutionalising the payment of grants is also raising concern over the risks related to the current card swapping process.
The panel says despite progress being made to ensure the payment of grants is not interrupted, it remains uncertain whether Sassa will achieve this.
In its sixth report to the Constitutional Court, the panel says it’s unlikely the Post Office will meet its own deadline to obtain portable cash machines to dispense grants to beneficiaries in rural areas by July.
The panel headed by Auditor-General Kimi Makwetu says the lack of cost implications of Sassa’s arrangement with the Post Office is concerning.
It’s warning that in future, the Post Office may hold Sassa to ransom by demanding as much revenue as possible to render the service.
In March, the agency cancelled its tender process for a service provider to make cash payments.
The panel says the risks associated with issuing new cards to beneficiaries, could scupper Sassa’s migration plan.
It says Sassa must come up with a contingency plan should it fail to replace the cards of cash beneficiaries before the end of its current contract with Cash Paymaster Services.
(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)