Parliament pleased with progress made by Sassa in social grants debacle
Parliament’s portfolio committee on social development says it is pleased with progress made by the SA Social Security Agency (Sassa) in implementing the Constitutional Court order to phase out Cash Paymaster Services (CPS).
“The committee is pleased with Sassa’s continuous provision of progress reports to the Constitutional Court, which will guard against future challenges. Sassa officials reported, amongst other things, that CPS ended on 30 September 2018,” said the committee’s chairperson Rosemary Capa.
The contract Sassa had with CPS was declared invalid by the ConCourt, but it was extended to the end of March after the agency failed to find a new contractor.
The remaining 523,420 beneficiaries still using the old Sassa cards will be using new ones before the end of December
Sassa approached the court again to extend its contract with CPS by six months‚ insofar as cash payments are concerned.
The court ordered that it be provided with regular updates on the progress made by an inter-ministerial committee set up to oversee the migration process.
The committee said Sassa had reported progress in decommissioning the old Sassa cards, which will be completed by December, and that "the majority of social grant beneficiaries have been successfully migrated to the South African Post Office (Sapo) or banks of their choice.
"The remaining 523,420 beneficiaries still using the old Sassa cards will be using new ones before the end of December 2018.
“The committee said it was briefed on Sassa staff’s one-day industrial action in October against the use of the biometric system and the measures put in place to address this.
"Sassa officials reported that the situation is under control and that trade union representatives form part of a task team looking at the system development issues that were at the centre of the discontent.”
Once the task team has completed its work, Sassa will continue with the biometric enrolment of beneficiaries, the committee said.
“The committee noted the security challenges relating to post office burglaries and cash-in-transit heists. It encouraged Sassa to continue working with the South African Police Service and security agencies to address these challenges.”