Social Security Agency on track to deliver grants through new service provider in 2018
SASSA is on track to meet timelines in phasing out the current service provider.
The SA Social Security Agency is on track to implement the decisions of the Constitutional Court, as ordered, and ensure that millions of South Africans who rely on social grants continue to receive them. A lot has been done since the ruling of the apex court and the appointment of an acting chief executive officer.
Acting Sassa CEO Pearl Bengu recently made her debut appearance before the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) to brief them on progress made to prepare for the payment of social grants after March 31, 2018. She said work was under way within the agency to ensure that a new service provider was appointed to take over when the current payment contractor concludes operations next year.
Indeed, Sassa is of the view that the post office as a government entity can have a noteworthy role to play in the distribution of grants.
Parliamentarians plausibly raised several concerns regarding the processes and said the people of South Africa should not be subjected to panic and anxiety. Sassa clearly understands its mandate and its executives, led by the CEO, are working extra time to ensure that the agency meets the timelines as outlined in Parliament.
The decision of the executive is that Sassa will follow a hybrid model during the first phase of the transition, as it readies itself to take over payments in future.
It is irrefutable that the pay-points payment mode continues to provide economic spin-offs to local communities, where grants are paid every month without fail. Many families are running sustainable businesses due to the grants payments activities taking place in their neighbourhoods.
As part of the journey that Sassa has navigated over the years since its formation to improve service delivery, many people today receive their grants conveniently through merchants, banks and pay points, as well as other institutions.
These achievements should not be downplayed and should serve as proof that everything the agency did over the past years was meant to improve services and increase operational efficiency. The mooted approach will continue to ensure that Sassa is on a trajectory to create the right conditions and restore the dignity of grants recipients.