File: Sassa and Sapo have agreed to a hybrid system to pay social grants to millions of beneficiaries.
JOHANNESBURG - The South Africa Social Security Agency (Sassa) says it&39;ll phase in new service providers by the 30th of September, as per its schedule.
The organisation claims the delays it&39;s currently experiencing will not affect the payment timeline.
Dianne Dunkerley, Sassa Grants administrator, said: "We will do everything we have to do to phase in the new service providers within the six months despite the fact that the card swap is starting a month late. We will have to just put in additional resources and that by the 30th of September that plan fits it. And that assurance that regardless of anything else people will be paid in April. No question about it... despite Easter weekend."
Sassa was briefing Parliament on Wednesday and said the organisation is still working on contingency plans to pay some beneficiaries.
The agency takes over payments to 17 million South Africans in just over two weeks.
Last week Sassa and the South African Post Office announced they would take over the majority of the payments, but they needed help with making cash payments to nearly 3 million recipients.
Sassa has applied for an extension of the CPS contract.
The court has reserved judgment.
"We did want to raise that as we thinking about this contingency plan which has not been finalised that there are risks that we have raised. If push comes to shove, there are costs to the beneficiaries and that is something we really don&39;t want to see," said Dunkerley.
"It is one of the things that we looking at very seriously. Costs are transporting people is a project on its own so it’s not something we taking lightly. We looking at all the other alternatives. We also mindful of possible resistance by community members... There is a process of engagement with the local leadership which is really important and with the beneficiaries who are affected."
Dunkerley is urging beneficiaries not to try and swap their Sassa cards for new ones just yet.
"The new cards are not available yet, they are only going to be launched on the 22nd of March and still need to be certified by visa so we will make it known then when new cards are actually available and where people can go to collect. Also understanding that the people who collect their grant in their bank accounts don&39;t need to go for that card swap because they will use their bank card to access their money so its the people that receive through the other payment channels."