New social grant payment system more confusing: Black Sash Trust

New social grant payment system more confusing: Black Sash Trust.
New social grant payment system more confusing: Black Sash Trust.

The Black Sash Trust has expressed concern over the new social grant payment system that will see recipients getting their grants from banks‚ various merchants and spaza shops from April 1.

According to the trust‚ the new Hybrid model‚ is confusing on how cash payments will be made to beneficiaries.

“We remain concerned by the lack of clarity around the proposed ‘Hybrid’ payment model‚ in particular how cash payments will be made‚ as well as the transfer of beneficiaries to commercial bank accounts‚” the trust said in a statement.

“Both these options present an opportunity for CPS [Cash Paymaster Services] and Net1 to continue the payment of social grants beyond 31 March 2018.”

The Black Sash Trust has also called on government to cover the banking costs that beneficiaries are likely to incur under the new payment system‚ so that they can receive the full cash value of the grant.

“The bank account(s) should include some free services such as no cost for cash withdrawals from ATMs and at least one free bank statement a month. Grant beneficiaries must be able to navigate the recourse system independently‚ at no cost and refunds‚ which is currently almost impossible.”

In December‚ the SA Social Security Agency (Sassa) and the SA Post Office entered into an agreement to execute the payment of social grants. The contract will kick off on April 1.

The contract Sassa currently has with Cash Paymaster Services was declared invalid by the Constitutional Court but the court extended it to end March after the agency failed to find a new contractor.

Last week‚ social development minister Bathabile Dlamini was in the hot seat at an inquiry into her role in the grants crisis. Dlamini has maintained that she is not to blame.

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