There’s been a breakthrough in the deadlock over the distribution of 17 million social grants.

Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe has announced a hybrid payment system involving both the Post Office and the social security agency, Sassa.

An agreement is to be signed by the end of next week.

The current contract with CPS expires at the end of March. There is light at the end of the tunnel as the impasse between Sassa and the Post Office is resolved.

A special team has been established to oversee the agreement.

Jeff Radebe says, “We want to ensure that by next week Friday that all these cooperation agreements, in the main between Sassa and Sapo will be signed to ensure we can move with speed.”

The new payment system may include commercial banks if Sapo does not have the capacity in some areas.

Radebe says, “So, all those issues about the banks and so on will become evident as we go around and as we develop an updated project plan towards the 1st of April 2018.”

Themba Godi, Chairperson of Scopa says, “We are happy of the fact that the impasse has been broken. There is now a clear process by which this is going to be resolved.”

But some MP’s say the seven-month delay by Sassa officials to reach a deal with the Post Office will still be scrutinised. They want to get to the bottom of who and what caused the delay.

Tim Brauteseth of the Democratic Alliance, says, “I want to make it clear to everyone in Sassa that what they have been saying up until now has been misleading and dishonest.”

Veronica Mente of the Economic Freedom Fighters says, “Somebody tried to ensure that Sapo would not get anything.”

The Inkatha Freedom Party’s Mkhuleko Hlengwa says, “It is our job and responsibility to alert the IMC that we are dealing with people who are dishonest.”

While Nyami Booi of the African National Congress says, “Whilst we hold the executive accountable, we should also respect them and trust them in what they are trying to do.”

Scopa and the Social Development Committee will meet again in two weeks to get a report back of the deal between Sassa and the Post Office.