Cabinet apologises to beneficiaries over Sassa technical glitch

Cabinet says it regrets the inconvenience caused as a result of technical problems with the South African Social Security Agency's new payment system.

FILE: Social Development Minister Susan Shabangu. Picture: GCIS

CAPE TOWN - Cabinet has apologised to thousands of social grants beneficiaries who have been unable to access their funds this week.

Social Development Minister Susan Shabangu briefed ministers at a meeting on Thursday.

Cabinet says it regrets the inconvenience caused as a result of technical problems with the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa)’s new payment system.

Cabinet says it understands social grants are a lifeline for the most vulnerable members of society. And it regrets the inconveniences they've suffered this week.

Problems with the new IT system and its newly issued Sassa card, as it migrates the payment of grants to the Post Office, has affected at least 700,000 beneficiaries.

Shabangu has assured Cabinet most of the affected beneficiaries have been paid since the problems first arose on Sunday.

She says dedicated teams are working hard to stabilise the systems and to prevent a recurrence of delays in future payment cycles.

Sassa has pledged to ensure that all beneficiaries are paid by Friday.

‘BENEFICIARIES SHOULDN’T BE A CASUALTY OF OUR OWN INEFFICIENCIES’

Cabinet says the poor should not become casualties of government's inefficiencies.

Communications Minister Nomvula Mokonyane says Shabangu briefed Cabinet on the grant payment issue experienced this week.

“The technical malfunctions were a result of the transition of the payments from an old system to a new Sassa as well as the SA Post Office system.”

Mokonyane apologised to the grant beneficiaries.

“They are the most vulnerable [and] they cannot be a casualty of our own inefficiencies.”

About 17 million South Africans depend on grants.

Additional reporting by Barry Bateman.

(Edited by Thapelo Lekabe)