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Treasury to intervene in SASSA/SAPO deadlock

2 November 2017

The Office of the ANC Chief Whip is concerned about the deadlock between the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) and the South African Post Office (SAPO) on not reaching an agreement on the distribution of social grant payments.

The department of Social Development together with the department of Telecommunications and Postal Services, SASSA and SAPO appeared before parliament on Tuesday and Wednesday this week to report on the review of SAPO's capabilities to implement and manage the national payment system of social grants.

Last night's joint meeting of the portfolio committee on social development and the standing committee on public accounts (Scopa) resolved that National Treasury should intervene in ironing out issues between the two entities. SASSA was therefore instructed to halt the advertising of the tender which was scheduled for tomorrow, 03 November 2017 to give National Treasury time to review SAPO's capabilities to carry out the payments of social grants. The meeting gave the National Treasury until Monday, 06 November 2017 to finalise its review on the matter. A joint meeting of the two committees will reconvene on Wednesday, 08 November 2017 for a briefing on the review by National Treasury.

We remain hopeful that the intervention of National Treasury will break the current deadlock between the two entities and that an urgent agreement can be reached on the payment of social grants as per the directive of the Constitutional Court. Failing which, we call on the chairperson of the Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC), President Jacob Zuma to urgently intervene to bring the matter to finalisation.

The ANC in Parliament applauds the work of the committees on social development and Scopa in working tirelessly to ensure that the executive is held accountable on this matter. The interventions by these committees on the social grants payment issue is exemplary of how parliament must ensure that government never deviates from its responsibilities of providing services to the people of South Africa.

We reiterate our stance that we must develop state capacity for service delivery in order to reach our goal of a developmental state. The outsourcing of social grants to private companies is therefore not an option.

As the African National Congress, our priority remains the poorest of the poor who depend on social security programmes for attaining a minimum standard of living.

Issued by the Office of the ANC Chief Whip

Nonceba Mhlauli

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