Breakthrough in payment of social grants

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

The Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) on Comprehensive Social Security has announced that government will fast-track the introduction of an integrated payment system for the payment of social grants.

Minister in the Presidency responsible for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation Jeff Radebe, who was appointed as the chair of the IMC by President Jacob Zuma two days ago, made the announcement when briefing the joint meeting of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts and the Portfolio Committee on Social Development on Wednesday.

The briefing was on the review points of impasse on the way forward for the payment of social grants between the South African Social Security Agency and the South African Post Office.

The IMC met on Tuesday, 7 November 2017, to consider progress on the implementation of the Constitutional Court orders relating to the payment of social grants.

The Minister said during the meeting, the IMC considered the report of the National Treasury on the review process on the engagement between SASSA and SAPO. At the same meeting, the National Treasury confirmed the hybrid model for the payment of grants, the Minister said.

“The IMC is of the view that government will move with the necessary speed to resolve all outstanding issues related to this matter.

“The IMC has thus taken a decision to fast-track the introduction of an integrated payment system which will be provided by government through a partnership between SASSA and SAPO.

“The approach will focus on the consolidation of the respective strengths of each entity and possible additional capacity from other parties,” he said.

The Minister was accompanied by Telecommunications and Postal Services Minister Siyabonga Cwele, State Security Minister Advocate Bongani Bongo, Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini, Communications Deputy Minister Tandi Mahambehlala and Finance Deputy Minister Sfiso Buthelezi.

Briefing the joint meeting, Minister Radebe said the intervention of the IMC will include a partnership between SAPO, Home Affairs, State Security Agency and the establishment of a dedicated team to review and strengthen the Project Plan by next week Friday.

He said the Project Plan will outline a detailed plan of execution, resource requirements, critical milestones and communication strategy.

“This will also include the commitment to draw in additional capacity from other organs of state as may be required.

“The roles and responsibilities of each party to the partnership will be detailed in the implementation protocol,” he said.

The Minister said the mandate of the dedicated team will be to ensure finalisation of the cooperation agreements between SASSA and SAPO, the governance and contracting framework, risk assessment and mitigation, monitoring and evaluation.

He also said that the dedicated team will report weekly to the IMC and will commit resources needed for the execution of the project.

“The IMC reaffirms its commitment to implement the Constitutional Court Orders through the deployment of all necessary resources to achieve the implementation of new system by end of March 2018.

“The IMC also reassures all South Africans and in particular, the social grant beneficiaries, that no card will expire on 31 December 2017.” –

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