Pretoria: The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) says after 2017, they will be able to pay social grants in-house.
SASSA announced on Tuesday that it will not renew its contract with Cash Paymaster Services (CPS), which is currently responsible for disbursing social grants. Its five-year contract expires in March 2017.
This move by SASSA will, however, have implications on payment channels, ICT, infrastructure as well as human resources, amongst others.
In this light, the Minister of Social Development, Bathabile Dlamini, has appointed a 10-member Ministerial Advisory Committee that will investigate and advise her on the best payment options.
Amongst other things, the committee is tasked with the responsibility to explore the existing market for a suitable payment model that will make SASSA pay social grants in-house, said SASSA spokesperson Paseka Letsatsi.
“A suitable model should be able to create sustainable jobs for people who will be employed and further open up accessibility for deserving citizens. The model chosen should be able to allow grants to be disbursed under conditions that enhance the dignity of beneficiaries,” said Letsatsi.
The committee, led by Advocate Themba Langa, has 18 months in which to review the system and give the minister recommendations.
Lestatsi said it will be required to review a broad number of elements relating to the payment systems for social security benefits distribution or payments, taking into account the accessibility of services; payment infrastructure requirements – the current level of South Africa’s infrastructure development and affordability; legislative and general regulatory environment; cost to state and to beneficiaries, as well as the macroeconomic environment.
There are about 16 million social grant recipients, with 11 million of them getting the child support grant.
Since May last year, SASSA has been enrolling beneficiaries on a biometric system.
This includes finger and palm print verification and voice recognition, which is aimed at reducing fraud.
Beneficiaries are being issued smart cards with which they can withdraw money from selected shops and ATMs.