South Africa 26.7.2017 06:30 am

Handover D-day for Sassa grants looms

Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini.

Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini.

Parliament committee wants to see how the phase-out process is going to take place.

The South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) is under pressure to produce its roadmap on how it will transfer the multibillion-rand grant distribution contract from Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) to a new service provider by April next year.

Sassa’s newly appointed CEO, Pearl Bhengu, will take the hot seat before parliament’s standing committee on public accounts (Scopa) where she will have to demonstrate the agency is complying with the Constitutional Court ruling to appoint a company to distribute state grants to 17 million recipients next April.

Scopa chairperson Themba Godi said the committee is looking forward to helping correct a “sorry and embarrassing” situation at Sassa when parliament resumes next week.

“When we open, Sassa will be a priority entity we are calling. They need to come and show us the path they are taking towards the contract handover next year.

We want to see how they are complying with the Constitutional Court ruling and how the phase-out process is going to take place without putting grant payments in jeopardy,” said Godi.

He said he expected Bhengu to have a handle on the processes that her predecessor, Thokozani Magwaza, had initiated before Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini gave him the boot.

Magwaza had been engaging with the SA Post Office with a view to transferring the grants distribution to it.

Godi said his committee was “quite impressed” with the Post Office’s grasp of the grant distribution process as well as their IT infrastructure.

“The committee views the social security of citizens as a crucial element of a caring government and we have been shown that the Post Office is best placed as a state-owned company to execute this mandate,” said Godi. – news@citizen.co.za

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