Good rid­dance, CPS – de­lighted MPs

Cape Argus - - NATION - MAYIBONGWE MAQHINA

THERE was ju­bi­la­tion among par­lia­men­tar­i­ans yes­ter­day when they were told that Cash Paymaster Ser­vices (CPS) was no longer in­volved in the pay­ment of so­cial grants.

This emerged when the South African So­cial Se­cu­rity Agency (Sassa) held a brief­ing about the takeover of so­cial grant pay­ments by the South African Post Of­fice (Sapo).

Brief­ing the so­cial de­vel­op­ment port­fo­lio com­mit­tee, act­ing chief ex­ec­u­tive Abra­ham Mahlangu said: “It gives me pleasure to re­port that to­day the pay­ment of so­cial grants happened on a le­git and law­ful con­tract in that col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween gov­ern­ment in­sti­tu­tions man­aged to take over pay­ment of grants.

“It gives us pleasure that we have met the Con­sti­tu­tional Court or­der of say­ing we will not use the ser­vices of CPS af­ter the end of Septem­ber,” Mahlangu said.

His state­ment was met with ju­bi­la­tion from ex­cited MPs, who could not hide their de­light at the news.

The IFP’s Liezl van der Merwe said: “It’s a very happy day be­cause we got rid of CPS.”

Act­ing chair­per­son Si­bongile Tsoleli was equally de­lighted. “It’s a very beau­ti­ful day, a beau­ti­ful month for all of us. I think CPS is his­tory.

“I don’t want to hear that name again,” Tsoleli said.

The DA’s Brid­get Masango echoed the sen­ti­ments. “I must join the col­leagues in con­grat­u­lat­ing Sassa and Sapo for rid­ding us of CPS. One is very ex­cited at this prospect of not hav­ing CPS in the sys­tem,” Masango said.

Mahlangu said Sassa had dis­bursed R8.4bn to Sapo and 86% had al­ready been paid out in the Oc­to­ber cy­cle.

“This gives us a good in­di­ca­tion that we are headed to­wards mak­ing sure that we sta­bilise pay­ment of so­cial grants through gov­ern­ment-to-gov­ern­ment co-oper­a­tion,” he said.

Head of strat­egy Raphaahle Ramok­gopa said out of 8.5 mil­lion ben­e­fi­cia­ries that needed to be mi­grated from CPS to bank­ing, 6.9m had swopped to Sapo cards and one mil­lion to other banks. The num­ber of ben­e­fi­cia­ries us­ing the old Sassa card had gone down from 868 000 to 600 000.

“We hope by Novem­ber 1 we will have mi­grated them ei­ther to bank­ing or to a Sapo environment,” she said.

She also said ter­mi­na­tion no­tice had been served on CPS, which had been or­dered to trans­fer all bal­ances in old Sassa cards to ben­e­fi­cia­ries.

“We also agreed with CPS to re­turn all in­for­ma­tion they have. We ne­go­ti­ated that an au­di­tor must au­dit all the books and in­for­ma­tion and en­sure they re­move ben­e­fi­cia­ries from their sys­tems,” Ramok­gopa said.

She said in­fra­struc­ture was be­ing im­proved at Sapo since it was not de­signed to deal with such a high vol­ume of ben­e­fi­cia­ries.

“The other op­tion we are work­ing on is stag­gered pay­ments so that not everyone goes and gets their money in one day.”

How­ever, se­cu­rity re­mained a con­cern in the pay­ments of grants at Sapo branches.

“There has been a num­ber of re­ported rob­beries not only in Sapo branches but in mer­chants. Most hap­pen in the first two days,” Ramok­gopa said.

Van der Merwe said it was con­cern­ing that ben­e­fi­cia­ries were more vul­ner­a­ble than be­fore.

Mahlangu said the rob­beries had de­clined this month com­pared to Au­gust and Septem­ber when Sapo took over the pay­ments.

He as­cribed this to po­lice vis­i­bil­ity af­ter the se­cu­rity clus­ter was asked to in­ter­vene.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.