No funds ham­per grant pay

IN-SOURC­ING: A LACK OF SKILLS FOR GOV­ERN­MENT TAKEOVER ALSO PROB­LEM

The Citizen (Gauteng) - - NEWS -

Re­port on CSIR’s due dili­gence on post of­fice, with de­ci­sion com­ing next week.

Tak­ing over the pay­ment of so­cial grants in line with the Con­sti­tu­tional Court rul­ing will be done but the process will be grad­ual be­cause there are no funds and req­ui­site skills to im­ple­ment the takeover, So­cial De­vel­op­ment Min­is­ter Batha­bile Dlamini said yes­ter­day.

“The in-sourc­ing and in­te­gra­tion of the grants ad­min­is­tra­tion and pay­ment value chain is an enor­mous task that re­quires time and high-level spe­cialised skills and re­sources that are not read­ily avail­able,” Dlamini said dur­ing an in­ter-min­is­te­rial com­mit­tee (IMC) on so­cial se­cu­rity press brief­ing in Pre­to­ria.

“The grad­ual phas­ing in of these pro­cesses will there­fore en­sure a seam­less tran­si­tion. As part of these in­terim ar­range­ments, and in line with the po­si­tion of the gov­ern­ing party, Sassa be­gan col­lab­o­rat­ing with the South African Post Of­fice (Sapo) with a view to work to­gether to en­sure pay­ment of so­cial grants be­yond March 2018. Gov­ern­ment, through the work of this IMC, re­mains com­mit­ted to this col­lab­o­ra­tion.”

She said gov­ern­ment’s com­mit­ment to the col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween Sassa and Sapo has been demon­strated in dif­fer­ent ways.

“The IMC has also rec­om­mended that a com­pre­hen­sive due dili­gence be un­der­taken on Sapo. Due dili­gence is noth­ing new but a com­mon busi­ness pre­req­ui­site to in­form de­ci­sion-mak­ing, par­tic­u­larly on an im­por­tant mat­ter such as the one we are dis­cussing here to­day. This is a highly tech­ni­cal and spe­cialised field … Sassa is­sued a re­quest for quo­ta­tion to ap­point a ser­vice provider for this pur­pose. That process did not yield the de­sired re­sults,” said Dlamini.

Sub­se­quently, the Coun­cil for Sci­en­tific and In­dus­trial Re­search (CSIR), was ap­pointed to con­duct the due dili­gence, which was con­cluded on Thurs­day this week.

“The bid eval­u­a­tion com­mit­tee will con­sider the [CSIR] re­port on Septem­ber 20. We will an­nounce the fi­nal de­ci­sion be­fore the end of next week.”

She said in its re­port to the Con­sti­tu­tional Court de­posed in June, Sassa com­mit­ted to “a fiveyear change pro­gramme” for the takeover of the func­tion of pay­ing so­cial grants, as stip­u­lated in the South African Con­sti­tu­tion.

“This is in line with the en­vis­aged role of the agency as per the ob­jec­tive of the Sassa Act of 2004. The Act clearly pro­vides for the es­tab­lish­ment of Sassa as an or­gan of State whose pri­mary man­date is to en­sure ef­fi­cient and ef­fec­tive man­age­ment, ad­min­is­tra­tion and pay­ment of so­cial grants in South Africa,” said Dlamini.

“The pro­posed five-year pe­riod is based on ex­ten­sive re­search into var­i­ous pay­ment op­tions and rec­om­men­da­tions of the min­is­te­rial ad­vi­sory com­mit­tee.”

Dlamini was ac­com­pa­nied at the brief­ing by Home Af­fairs Min­is­ter, Hlengiwe Mkhize and Telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions and Postal Ser­vices Min­is­ter Siyabonga Cwele. – ANA

Pic­ture:EPA

Seven-week-old fairy pen­guin chick Nip­pet is weighed by a zoo keeper at Mel­bourne Zoo on Thurs­day. Keep­ers are hand-feed­ing the two chicks be­tween 12 and 15 fish a day and get­ting them ready to join the Wild Sea Pen­guin colony.

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