Sassa com­mended for good work

Inner City Gazette - - News - By Staff Re­porter news@in­ner-city-gazette.co.za

The South African So­cial Se­cu­rity Agency (Sassa) on Wed­nes­day said there were no ma­jor chal­lenges ex­pe­ri­enced in Au­gust in pay­ments to ben­e­fi­cia­ries com­pared to July.

Sassa briefed Par­lia­ment’s port­fo­lio com­mit­tee on so­cial de­vel­op­ment on the progress made on the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the Con­sti­tu­tional Court judg­ment in March, to al­low Cash Pay­mas­ter Ser­vices (CPS) to con­tinue dis­tribut­ing so­cial grants by an­other six months to ben­e­fi­cia­ries who re­ceive their grants in cash.

The pre­sen­ta­tion on the brief­ing in­cluded an up­date on the progress that has been achieved by Sassa with pay­ments to ben­e­fi­cia­ries from April to Au­gust. The com­mit­tee was in­formed that Sassa has re­duced the num­ber of ben­e­fi­cia­ries paid by CPS from 2 063 163 to 1 098 669.

Around 17 mil­lion South Africans are ben­e­fi­cia­ries of state grants that in­clude child sup­port, de­pen­dency and fos­ter child care, 2.8 mil­lion ben­e­fi­cia­ries of the scheme, re­ceived their grants in cash.

The pay­ments were de­posited through the Post Bank ac­count cards in Au­gust. The South African Post Of­fice will also pilot cash pay­ment so­lu­tions at 18 sites across the coun­try.

Chair­per­son of the com­mit­tee, Zoleka Capa, said she was very im­pressed with the good work which Sassa has done so far in the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the Con­sti­tu­tional Court judg­ment. She told Sassa that Post Of­fices were not meant for a large num­ber of peo­ple and the ben­e­fi­cia­ries should not be sub­jected to long queues.

“The De­part­ment of So­cial De­vel­op­ment must do some­thing about that,” said Capa.

She thanked the as­sis­tance pro­vided by the so­cial work­ers of the De­part­ment of So­cial De­vel­op­ment, es­pe­cially on com­mu­nity work.

“So­cial work­ers as­sist the peo­ple and also the pub­lic will be em­pow­ered by their avail­abil­ity,” she said.

She fur­ther com­mended the part­ner­ship es­tab­lished be­tween coun­cil­lors, tra­di­tional lead­ers as stake­hold­ers to as­sist Sassa in the de­liv­ery of ser­vices to the peo­ple.

MEAN­WHILE GRANT ben­e­fi­cia­ries only have un­til the end of Septem­ber to swap their old Sassa cards for the new.

Themba Mat­lou, Sassa re­gional ex­ec­u­tive man­ager, stressed the im­por­tance of the dead­line at a me­dia brief­ing re­cently, at Turf­fontein Race­course.

Mat­lou said Sassa and South African Post Of­fice (Sapo) made pro­vi­sion for the tran­si­tion where ben­e­fi­cia­ries im­mi­grated from cash to elec­tronic pay­ment to al­le­vi­ate the risk as­so­ci­ated with cash man­age­ment.

“Sassa will es­tab­lish more home vis­its for ben­e­fi­cia­ries older than 75 and those who qual­ify for home vis­its can call our toll-free con­tacts,” he said.

About 82 peo­ple will be em­ployed for door to door com­mu­ni­ca­tion with ben­e­fi­cia­ries to ed­u­cate them about their new cards.

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