ConCourt directs Dlamini and Sassa to tell if experts' grants payment plan is feasible

Bathabile Dlamini
Bathabile Dlamini
Image: KYLE COWAN

The court issued directions on Wednesday for minister Bathabile Dlamini and Sassa to say whether the alternative payment plan as proposed by a panel of experts could be workable.

The panel was appointed by the court in March to evaluate the steps taken by Sassa to ensure it was able to administer and pay social grants from April 1 next year.

In Wednesday's directions the ConCourt also instructed the panel to give recommendations on the desirability or necessity of an investigation by the National Treasury into the conduct of Sassa employees and of the Department of Social Development.

This is in relation to all actions undertaken since June last year to issue contracts to service providers‚ and whether any person should be prosecuted.

In its report to the court dated November 16‚ the panel said 80% of grant recipients who lived within 5km of an ATM or point-of-sale device or facility could be paid directly from Sassa’s corporate account into their existing bank accounts.

The panel recommended that the 20% of beneficiaries who did not live within 5km from an ATM or point-of-sale facility or device could receive payments at paypoints.

On Wednesday‚ the court said if the panel's plan was not feasible‚ Sassa and the minister should indicate this in their quarterly report due on December 18.

The court said if the alternative plan was feasible‚ Sassa and Dlamini have to indicate by January 29 how they intend to set up a system of direct payments into beneficiary bank accounts from Sassa’s own corporate bank account.

The court also ordered Dlamini and Sassa to indicate how they intended to implement methods to pay the 20% of grant recipients who do no live within 5km of an ATM or point of sale device.

The court also directed the panel to arrange short meetings with all stakeholders to consider the reports that would be prepared by the minister and Sassa to be presented to the court. The court said the panel of experts' report must be filed by January 29.

 

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