Sassa requires integrated payment system: Dlamini

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The Social Development Department has announced that it has offered the Post Office only one of the four services required by Sassa to pay social grants.

Briefing the media in East London, Minister Bathabile Dlamini says Sassa requires an integrated payment system, banking services, card body production and provision of cash payment services.

However, she says the Post Office can only provide an integrated payment system.

In 2016 the Constitutional Court found irregularities with the current service provider, Cash Paymaster Services and ordered Sassa to initiate a new tender process. Lubabalo Dada has more

The inability of the Post Office to meet the required standards means Sassa will have to begin another tender process starting on the third of November.

This process is expected to be concluded in February in 2016.

Sassa says despite the failed bid by the Post Office, they will incorporate them in the distribution of social grants in an attempt to help the government agency revive its closed outlets, in particular the ones that are in rural areas and townships so as to create employment.

In a letter to Sassa, Speed Services and Courier Companies states that they want to tender for all services and not only one.

Dlamini explains some of the conditions that the Post Office could not meet.

“Sapo can only produce 2.4 million cards per annum as opposed to the minimum requirement of 4.2 million cards per annum. The RFP also required that Sapo disclose if any of the services work in the RFP would be sub-contracted and to whom it would be sub-contracted to.”

“However, Sapo did not disclose this information even after being requested through correspondence sent to them.”

Dlamini also says Sassa has extended the current payment card lifespan.

“These cards were supposed to expire in December 2017 and beneficiaries are being informed of these developments through a nationwide communication campaign using multiple communication platforms which include face to face meetings. I wish to stress that no card will expire come December 3.”

Meanwhile, Freedom Under Law has expressed disappointment in the Social Development Department and Sassa for the delays in tender procurements to pay social grants.

They allege the delay tactics are a ploy to award Cash Paymaster Services yet another contract in 2018.

FUL spokesperson Judge Johan Kriegler says:”It is perfectly clear that come the end of March next year, once again the only contractor who will fit to pay to the millions and millions of South Africans who are dependent on upon these grants will be Cash Paymaster Services who shouldn’t have had the contract in the first place.”

“We are profoundly upset by this. It seems as if the department and Sassa are dragging their feet for a reason at which only you and I could speculate.”

A meeting with the two entities is scheduled for Tuesday in parliament.