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SCOPA concerned CPS will get another social grant distribution tender

Aug 16, 2017
SCOPA concerned CPS will get another social grant distribution tender

The Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) on Tuesday expressed concern that the open tender process that the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) will follow to find service providers to cover those services the South African Post Office (SAPO) is unable to provide in the payment of social grants may open the door once more to controversial Cash Paymaster Services (CPS).

The Committee heard that once SAPO’s bid has been evaluated and adjudicated, Sassa will know the extent of services that SAPO is unable to provide.

These services will then go on open tender. MPs express concern that this “leaves the window open” for CPS to enter the fray again.

The Committee further noted that Sassa currently has about 10 000 paypoints, while SAPO currently has just over 2 000 outlets. Sassa told Scopa that it has asked that other pay outlets for social grants, such as supermarkets and commercial banks, stay in place to ensure that beneficiaries are paid after the Constitutional Court deadline of the end of March 2018.

Sassa assured the Committee that it has a communication strategy to inform South Africans that social grants will continue to be paid after the Constitutional Court deadline for the end of the CPS contract to pay out social grants . 

The Committee also expressed concern that Sassa does not know the scope of the panel of experts appointed by the court, nor does it appear at this stage that Sassa will be able to meet the court deadline.

Committee Chairperson, Themba Godi, indicated that he did not get a sense that Sassa was “enthusiastically embracing” SAPO. “It seems it is not really about what SAPO can’t do, but rather you deciding that SAPO won’t be able to do.”

This sentiment was expressed by several MPs.

Godi adjourned the meeting to 5 September 2017 for a follow-up, when both the evaluation and adjudication of SAPO’s bid will have been completed.