SASSA Statement on Future Grant Payment System
SASSA has been inundated with concerns regarding what happens after the current social grant payment contract with Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) expires at the end of March. This is understandable, given the fact that the ConCourt declared the current contract invalid but however, suspended the invalidity declaration. The Minister of Social Development, Bathabile Dlamini subsequently set up a task team to look at the modalities of a system in which SASSA takes over the payment of social grants in-house. Social grant beneficiaries will continue to be paid as usual and on time even beyond April 2017 and there will be no disruptions to the system, given the sterling work of the task team.
Consultations were held with various stakeholders in an effort to determine what the best model would be and a solution had to be found in order to minimize potential unintended consequences. That process took an unexpected longer time, given the competing business and other interests of interested parties. SASSA also has a responsibility to deliver quality service to beneficiaries without system hiccups and therefore it had to follow a thorough process to determine the best solution. We are currently finalising consultations with the Reserve Bank and the National Treasury.
Given the nature of the essential service SASSA provides, there is a need for an efficient and tested solution as well as a matching, sizeable human and material investment. These are some of the realities SASSA is facing, which will be detailed when SASSA goes public on the whole matter next week.
SASSA will present its plan on how social grants will be paid out as from April 2017 to the Social development Portfolio Committee. This presentation to the committee will be made on the 1st February 2017 in Parliament and will clarify all perceived uncertainties that interested parties have expressed.
Social grant beneficiaries will continue to be paid as usual and on time even beyond April 2017 and there will be no disruptions in the system. There is therefore no need to panic from the side of beneficiaries. If beneficiaries are promised something too good to be true or if they are unsure of anything, they should contact SASSA on its official social media pages or call 0800 60 10 11 for more information. This is because false reports misrepresenting SASSA have been spread in the traditional and social media requesting beneficiaries to change their cards and do all sorts of things in anticipation of the new grant payment system. Beneficiaries are cautioned not to fall easy prey to false rumours peddled by people who don’t have their interest at heart but an intention to rob them their right to social security.
SASSA will ensure that their grants are received unencumbered as required by the Social Assistance Act. This is because some beneficiaries currently experience unauthorised deductions from unscrupulous operators within the financial services sector and it is therefore important that these are eliminated. As an institution acting in the best interest of the beneficiary it is important for SASSA to ensure that all practices undermining government’s fight against poverty are dealt a death blow no matter their form and character.