The government cannot guarantee the smooth payment of social grants and it is pleading with grant beneficiaries to bear with the state as it tries to fix the technical gremlins.
About 700‚000 grant beneficiaries could not access their money in the first week of July due to what the SA Social Security Agency (Sassa) termed "technical glitches" in a new system which involved a large number of grants being distributed through post offices and an introduction of a new card system.
Minister in the Presidency responsible for Monitoring and Evaluation Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma told MPs in the National Council of Provinces that she could not guarantee that similar hiccups would not be experienced in the coming few months. She was in that house to answer MPs' questions.
"I cannot stand here and guarantee that this month and next month the system would have been upgraded in all the post offices‚" she said.
Dlamini Zuma said the government was trying to make sure that merchants [supermarkets that also distribute the grants] upload the Sassa bank identification number [Bin] which is a crucial number for processing payments and that they also continue with the swapping of cards from old to new.
"In future‚ but not in the immediate future‚ the Post Office will roll out mobile units to go out to where the people live‚" she said.
"We must all communicate with the beneficiaries that this period is a trying period‚ a period where new systems are being introduced in a very short space of time and there could still be some hitches here and there‚ but we are doing our best that what happened last month should not happen this month."