Min­is­ter un­veils Sassa’s 5-year grant plan

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE - RUDZANI MATSHILI

THE South African So­cial Se­cu­rity Agency (Sassa) has out­lined a five-year change pro­gramme for the takeover of the pay­ment of so­cial grants, So­cial De­vel­op­ment Min­is­ter Batha­bile Dlamini said.

The press brief­ing by the In­ter- Min­is­te­rial Com­mit­tee on So­cial Se­cu­rity was led by the min­is­ter yes­ter­day in Pre­to­ria. It fol­lows the im­ple­men­ta­tion of Con­sti­tu­tional Court or­ders as di­rected in March this year.

In its judg­ment, the Con­sti­tu­tional Court or­dered the min­is­ter and Sassa to sub­mit quar­terly re­ports high­light­ing the steps be­ing taken to en­sure ap­point­ment of the new ser­vice provider when the present 12-month con­tract with CPS lapses at the end of this year.

Dlamini said the pro­posed five-year takeover pe­riod was based on ex­ten­sive re­search into var­i­ous pay­ment op­tions and rec­om­men­da­tions of the Min­is­te­rial Ad­vi­sory Com­mit­tee and work streams.

She added that they had be­gan col­lab­o­rat­ing with the South African Post Of­fice to en­sure ben­e­fi­cia­ries were paid at the end of March next year.

Ac­cord­ing to the min­is­ter, un­der the con­tract with CPS, se­ri­ous chal­lenges.

“Un­der the cur­rent con­tract with CPS, the to­tal amount for all so­cial as­sis­tance trans­fers are de­posited into a CPS bank ac­count. This cre­ates se­ri­ous chal­lenges as Sassa is un­able to have a di­rect over­sight on this ac­count.

“To ad­dress this, Sassa is in a process of re­ac­ti­vat­ing its pay­mas­ter gen­eral ac­count with the South African Re­serve Bank. To this end, we are in con­sul­ta­tion with the Na­tional Trea­sury,” she said.

On a re­lated mat­ter, she said plans were un­der way to open Sassa’s cor­po­rate ac­count with spe­cial ben­e­fi­ciary dis­burse­ment ac­counts through a spon­sor bank.

“This ac­count will be solely man­aged by Sassa. These two ac­counts will be opened with the same bank to re­duce costs and to im­prove the abil­ity to trans­fer funds freely,” she said.

Reg­u­la­tion 21 of the So­cial As­sis­tance Act makes pro­vi­sion for cash pay­ment or di­rect trans­fer into the com­mer­cial bank ac­counts of ben­e­fi­cia­ries.

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