Minister of Social Development Susan Shabangu has blamed the recent debacle surrounding Sassa grant payments on the two companies allegedly involved, Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) and Grindrod banking company, saying the department has taken both to court.
“We are in court with Grindrod. There was no agreement on the R10 increase,” Shabangu said, adding the department had also taken CPS to court over the continued illegal deductions on recipients’ grants.
Shabangu also spoke out against what she described as interference from CPS, which she alleged had included convincing beneficiaries to not switch to the new Post Office system.
The minister claimed CPS employees were stationed at paypoints to try to persuade grant beneficiaries to continue using the system.
Shabangu also said the Sassa strike had been averted and that wage negotiations were ongoing. The Citizen reported the strike had affected July social grant payments, with some beneficiaries failing to receive their grants.
READ MORE: Problems with Sassa payments continue
An application for an interdict by Shabangu against striking members of the Public Servants Association (PSA) at the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) was heard at Johannesburg’s Labour Court last week.
Thousands of PSA members downed tools over wages at the agency, leading to a shutdown of social grant disbursements. They also demanded concessions on housing, leave, danger allowance, performance management and the insourcing of some services.
It seems problems regarding striking workers have abated for now, according to Shabangu, who also took the opportunity to express her confidence that the relationship between Sassa and the Post Office would be successful.
She also mentioned the department was in talks with the taxi industry to transport beneficiaries to faraway paypoints. She stressed the taxis would not be carrying any cash.
Shabangu considers cash payments that have been made to Sassa grant recipients a success, saying the department had paid 1.6 million beneficiaries out of the 2.5 million.