The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) and the South African Post Office (SAPO) have signed a landmark deal which government hopes will bring to life a new grants payment system.
The inter-ministerial committee on social security, headed by the Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe, announced on Sunday that the new deal was signed and sealed two days earlier.
According the committee the new deal will ensure that 17 million beneficiaries continue receiving grants beyond April 2018, which is the Constitutional Court’s deadline for SASSA to take over social grant payments from Cash Paymaster Services.
For about over 2 million beneficiaries who receive their grants through bank accounts, SASSA has received the details of all these bank accounts and has confirmed them, and from 1 January 2018 grant will be paid directly into a bank account by SASSA.
A special, low-cost bank account is also being developed for those who want to move over to the banking sector, rather than rely on the Post Office or cash payments.
The current SASSA card, provided by Grindrod Bank, has been extended by one year, and will not expire in December 2017.
“Let me emphasizes this – to ensure that there are no problems as beneficiaries move from their current payment point to the new commercial bank, the current SASSA card held by Grinrod Bank will be valid until the end of December 2018, ” Minister Radebe said.
Cash payments delivered in rural areas for 2.9 million people (29%) will continue to use the current cash payment method which they access at the more than 10 000 cash points across the country.
Incumbent service provider Cash Paymaster Services will not have direct control over this process come April 1, 2018.
SASSA will go out on a tender to find a new service provider to handle the cash payments portion of the grant system.