| SOUTH AFRICA

Don’t panic says SASSA as payout takeover deadline looms

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Plan to pay 17 million beneficiaries to be revealed in Parliament next week

Photo of SASSA building
Photo: Masixole Feni
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The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) has assured its beneficiaries that the payout of grants will continue as normal. It comes as speculation grows that SASSA will be unable to meet the 1 April deadline and that the controversial Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) contract could be extended.

“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,” SASSA said in a statement on Friday.

The agency has been mired by controversy in recent months, most notably because of unauthorised deductions from the accounts of beneficiaries by private companies.

SASSA’s current contract with CPS, the company contracted to pay social grants to beneficiaries, was declared invalid in 2014. SASSA then submitted a plan to the Constitutional Court to take over the payments of social grants to its 17 million beneficiaries.

In the statement SASSA said it met with various stakeholders in a bid to reduce “unintended consequences” of the in-house takeover. The agency confirmed that plan to pay its 17 million beneficiaries would be revealed in Parliament on Wednesday, 1 February.

“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. Parliament will clarify all perceived uncertainties that interested parties have expressed,” it said.

SASSA also urged beneficiaries not to be caught by scammers requesting them to change their smart cards.

See also: SASSA contractor may have to pay back millions of rands.

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TOPICS:  Social Grants

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