Sassa says it's ready to pay grants

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Johannesburg - It's all systems go for grant recipients, the department of social development assured South Africans on Sunday.

Department spokesperson Lumka Oliphant said that all is on track for the payment of grants from April 1.

Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini has reassured all qualifying beneficiaries that they will receive their money. 

Payments are made through various channels including merchants, points of sale, banks, ATMs and Sassa pay points.

Oliphant said Sassa pay points would not open on April 1, as this falls on a weekend.

"Special focus and provision will be made for the busiest merchants and ATMs around the country and regional executive managers will be deployed to monitor and assist beneficiaries with inquiries.

"On April 3, Sassa pay points will operate as normal and recipients are encouraged to go on their respective days and respective pay points as indicated on the slips they received last month," said Oliphant.

She said a letter was sent to acting National Police Commissioner Lieutenant-General Khomotso Phahlane requesting an increase in police visibility across the country.

"Any form of lapsing or suspensions that may occur may not imply a failure to pay by Sassa. The Minister wishes to reiterate her unreserved apology for the anxiety and fear caused about the uncertainty around the payment of social grants.

"She wished to express her gratitude in advance for the patience and cooperation of South Africa especially the beneficiaries of social grants," Oliphant added.

The Constitutional Court slammed Dlamini for "incompetence" and for failing to perform her constitutional obligation to find a new service provider, after the court found that the contract with Cash Paymaster Services was invalid.

She is expected to explain to the court this week, why she should not be held personally liable for the legal costs.

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