Sassa vows to pay

2017-03-15 06:02

The minister of Social Development, Bathabile Dlamini, has assured the public that payments of the social grants to beneficiaries will be done on 1 April.

This will be done despite all doubts due to the failure of meeting the administration deadline.

The failure has since caused an uproar against the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa), with demands to act timeously and to address the situation regarding the contract found to have been awarded to Cash Paymaster Service in a controversial tender in 2012.

The contract was declared invalid in 2014 by the Constitutional Court, which instructed Sassa to reissue the tender.

Addressing the media in Cape Town on Monday, 6 March, Dlamini said the Department of Social Development will be embarking on a nationwide public and stakeholder engagement campaign to allay public fears and anxiety surrounding the payment of social grants beyond 31 March.

The contract Sassa entered into with Cash Paymaster Services, which currently pays social grants beneficiaries, is set to expire on 31 March.

“The department will be engaging citizens on the issues that concern them most in the interest of providing an inclusive social protection system,” said Lumka Oliphant of the Department of Social Development.

As the deadline came closer, civil rights groups, such as Black Sash, started sounding warning bells that Sassa was not implementing the court’s orders.

In April 2017, the Constitutional Court ordered Sassa to start a new tender process for the payment of welfare grants.

The court matter came after AllPay challenged the legality of awarding the contract, after which it was found to be ­unlawful.

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