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Sassa: Grant payment system is not at risk

The agency's biometric system is meant to be a deterrent to fraud but the agency’s staff have complained that their training to use it has been inadequate.

Nehawu workers protest outside one of the Sassa offices in Johannesburg on 10 October 2018. The strike was against Sassa's biometric system for beneficiaries. Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) says that it will make sure adequate controls are in place to prevent fraud in the grant payment system, while its biometric system has been put on hold.

The agency agreed to temporarily stop using the system on Wednesday, to allow for more training of employees who this week downed tools over its use.

Sassa told Parliament’s Social Development Agency on Thursday that it still has around 600,000 card swaps to make but it expects to do so in a matter of weeks.

The agency's biometric system is meant to be a deterrent to fraud but the agency’s staff have complained that their training to use it has been inadequate.

Sassa’s acting CEO Abraham Mahlangu says a task team will ensure that employees are brought up to speed so that the system can be returned to use as soon as possible.

In the interim he says, the grant payment system is not at risk.

"We still believe there are controls between the time of registration and the time of actual card issuance and ultimately the time of payment."

Mahlangu says the Post Office has verification means using a beneficiary’s ID and the population register.

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