Sassa deal with Post Office ends ‘anxiety and uncertainty’ over grants debacle


SA Post Office chief executive Mark Barnes says he is pleased with the deal Sapo has struck with the SA Social Security Agency to administer social grants next year.

“We have two arms of the state now coming together to provide a service. To me the logic is compelling.

“The payment of social grants is not a business‚ it’s a service and so we have this under-utilised infrastructure owned by the state which is currently occupied by the Post Office‚” Barnes said on Radio 702 on Monday.

He said it made economic and strategic sense for social grants to be administered by the Post Office.

Asked if the Post Office was capable of providing the service‚ Barnes said: “All the performance indicators at the Post Office are up quite significantly. We are an operating bank which has operating standards with which we comply‚ which are as good and in some cases better than the banking industry standards.”

The Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa)‚ also welcomed the deal between Sassa and the Post Office.

“The Standing Committee on Public Accounts appreciates the deal struck between the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) and the South African Post Office (Sapo)‚ which brings to an end the uncertainty and anxiety of grant recipients and the nation at large.

“Scopa feels vindicated that its relentless persistence has finally yielded a positive outcome. The grant distribution debacle must be a lesson to all departments and cabinet ministers that they cannot avoid accountability. This episode has once again proved that Parliament can achieve good results for all South Africans.”

The deal between the two arms of the state was finalised on November 17 and the services agreement was entered into last week on Tuesday – just in time for submission to the Constitutional Court on Friday.

The contract Sassa has with Cash Paymaster Services was declared invalid by the Constitutional Court but the court extended its validity to 1 April 2018.

The new system‚ the Hybrid Model‚ will kick in on 1 April 2018.

By: Nomahlubi Jordaan – TImesLIVE

Source: TMG Digital.

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