Minister unveils Sassa’s 5-year grant plan
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.