CAPE TOWN - The inter-ministerial committee (IMC) set up to look into the social grants crisis on Tuesday briefed Parliament's watchdog, Scopa, and the Social Development Portfolio Committee on the details of a deal for the payment of social grants.
The IMC detailed the progress made in finalising the appointment of the South African Post Office (Sapo) when government's contract with Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) comes to an end in March 2018.
Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe said that Scopa are on course to find a permanent solution to the Sassa crisis and a detailed plan would be submitted to the Inter-ministerial committee on the 6th of December.
“Our posture as the IMC is that we have one plan and that plan is to implement the court order and the directives of the Constitutional Court. That is our plan. So we don’t have plan B in a loose way that…there’s one plan, and in that plan, as you are going to see later when we report by the 8th of December, it also includes all the risk mitigation measures and all contingencies to highlight the difficulties in executing the court order.
"So what I’m trying to say to colleagues is that our implementation plan will include everything that has to happen for a new service provider or providers to be in place by the 1st of April 2018..”
Radebe: An implementation protocol was signed between SAPO and #SASSA last Friday. SAPO has first call on biometrics and card distribution.— Annika Larsen (@AnnikaLarsen1) November 21, 2017
Radebe said the agreement is subject to cost effectiveness.
A second report by a panel assessing adherence to a Constitutional Court ruling on the matter recommended that the court be approached to order treasury to investigate Sassa officials with a view to prosecution and to determine if they had been guilty of obstruction or maladministration.
The IMC assured Parliament it would establish a technical committee to draw up Deal between #SASSA and SAPO, Home Affairs and private banks.— Annika Larsen (@AnnikaLarsen1) November 21, 2017
They further recommended that Sassa no longer continue as a public entity without proper institutional governance.
Detailed #SASSA and SAPO plan will be submitted to IMC on 6 December.— Annika Larsen (@AnnikaLarsen1) November 21, 2017
Earlier in November, Scopa asked National Treasury to intervene after negotiations between Sapo and South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) deadlocked.
Sapo was the obvious choice to take over from CPS but the Minister of Social Development Bathabile Dlamini insisted Sapo did not have the capability to do so, falling short in three of four required functions.
However, Treasury decided Sapo can and should take over the contract.
The details of the deal are expected to be revealed on Tuesday.
Sassa also has to report to the Constitutional Court by December 8 on its plan to ensure the uninterrupted payment of grants.