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27 January 2017

The National Department of Social Development will not be ready to take over the disbursement of SASSA grants from Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) by the 31 March 2017 deadline, according to recent media reports.

I will invite SASSA to brief the Standing Committee on Community Development on their readiness to take over the disbursement of grants as of 1 April 2017. I will also inquire how much has been lost to illegal deductions up to now, and what measures are in place to ensure the matter is addressed.

During the meeting with the Committee on 31 May 2016, SASSA gave assurance that they would assume responsibility for the disbursement of funds to beneficiaries as of 1 April 2017.

In 2014, ConCourt declared the current contract invalid after it emerged that irregular tendering processes were followed in the awarding of the tender to CPS.

We feel that the Department has had enough time to prepare for the switchover and failing to do so will have disastrous effects on the 17 million beneficiaries.

SASSA briefed the Committee on illegal and unauthorised deductions taking place on beneficiary accounts, and their own data presented on the day indicated that the agency had in the 2015-16 year received more than of 18800 disputes on social grants. Furthermore, 19 Cash Paymaster Service officials were identified to be part of a syndicate that has been defrauding SASSA.

The DA in the Western Cape will continue our efforts to end the corrupt practices in the grant pay-outs.

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