Scopa to be briefed on Sassa saga

2017-11-21 07:36


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Johannesburg – The South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) is expected back in the spotlight on Tuesday over its compliance on the phasing out of Cash Paymaster Services (CSP).

A joint meeting of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) and the portfolio committee on social development is to be briefed by the inter-ministerial committee on the procurement of alternative payment services.

Cabinet's inter-ministerial committee (IMC) on social security had to step in to "resolve" a deadlock between Sassa and the South African Post Office after the agency failed to sign an inter-government agreement, following months of negotiations.

Read: Still no Post Office, Sassa grants deal despite govt deadline

The IMC directed Sassa and the Post Office to come to an agreement by Friday, November 17.

However, department of planning, monitoring and evaluation spokesperson Mmabatho Ramompi said on Friday that there was no progress to report at the time.

A proposed announcement is expected "some time" this week.

"The technical teams have been working round the clock. As soon as we know something, we will announce it," she told News24.

Out of time

There is no guarantee the two entities will reach an agreement on the three outstanding services still required by Sassa, which include banking functions, card body production and cash distribution of grants at outlets.

Sassa has until March 31, 2018, to find an alternate service provider for the scheme, and successfully migrate the system from the invalid CPS.

To complicate matters, a Treasury report last week revealed that both Sassa and the Post Office no longer have enough time or resources to take over the scheme in its entirety by the deadline.

It was also damning of Sassa's handling of the negotiations with the Post Office, saying the request for a proposal was "biased".

There was no longer enough time to issue new tenders and find new service providers for the other services before the deadline, the report warned.

Read more on:    sassa  |  sapo  |  scopa  |  johannesburg  |  social grants

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