Sapo and Sassa deal in limbo

RENEWED ENERGY: CEO of the South African Post Office, Sapo, Mark Barnes, when he addressed a select audience to tell of his plans in 2015. Barnes is now hoping the South African Social Services Authority, Sassa, will award Sapo the contract to take over grant payments from Cash Paymaster Services when its current contract expires


SOUTH African Post Office CEO Mark Barnes says he hopes the new Sassa CEO will abide by an agreement allowing the Post Office to take over the payment of social grants.

Barnes said former Sassa CEO, Thokozani Magwaza, had signed off on a deal with the Post Office just days before he was allegedly ousted, earlier this week. Barnes said the Post Office received a letter seeking collaboration: “to develop a solution with them uniquely for the payment of social grants for a period not exceeding five years.”

This collaboration is consistent with the strategy Barnes laid out an informal meeting held at the Royal St Andrew’s Hotel in Port Alfred when he visited in November 2015. At that meeting he told his audience that trust had to be established between government, labour and the business sector, and that partnerships and accords would then be forged, encouraging more investment in infrastructure, including new business ventures.

“We’re going to work on this together as two sister-companies of government. We believe we can do it, We’ve demonstrated that to the technical team. This was now going down to the meat of it and the deviation to engage with us uniquely was supported by

“This was now going down to the meat of it and the deviation to engage with us uniquely was supported by treasury. I have both those documents in writing. So it was an invitation to come into their house and work with them to provide a solution for the country.”

With the removal of Magwaza, Barnes is still hopeful that the agreement for the South African Post Office (SAPO) to distribute grants will be ratified. In a TV interview yesterday, Barnes said he didn’t think it would be possible for any other company to take over the payment of grants in the time remaining before the expiration of Cash Paymaster Services’ contract.


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