After a lengthy debate, the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) and the South African Post Office (SAPO) have officially reached an agreement regarding the distribution of social grants.
Chairperson of the inter-ministerial committee on Social Security, Jeff Radebe, says that the agreement involves a “hybrid payment model” that will allow beneficiaries to choose between four payment channels.
This means that from 1 January, the grants may be paid directly into the beneficiaries’ bank accounts.
Radebe has said: “This new system while drawing on the resources and capabilities of the South African democratic state will also make allowance for the participation of other partners such as enterprises and commercial banks, in the payment of social grants to beneficiaries.”
The agreement makes provision for:
– Payments through bank accounts of beneficiaries’ choice with commercial banks.
– Payment through merchants in large retail shops.
– Payment through the Postbank of SAPO at its outlets countywide.
– Payments through a second tier of merchants which include village banks, General Dealers, small retail outlets, Spaza shops, cooperatives etc, which are legally registered and South African owned and operated.
In order to achieve this, Radebe maintains that the grants will be insourced phase by phase.
Sapo’s responsibilities have been outlined as follows:
– electronic banking services, including the provision of a central holding account and special disbursement accounts
– on-boarding of new beneficiaries
– biometric authentication of beneficiaries
– development, in conjunction with such other state capabilities as may be required of the required software solution to replace the incumbent systems.
SASSA will therefore be required to:
– manage and oversee SAPO’S performance
– monitor the quality of the Services
– convene meetings with SAPO as agree
– assist SAPO, where reasonable and necessary.
Read the full Comprehensive Social Security Report here.