8 November 2017

South Africa: Inter - Ministerial Committee On Comprehensive Social Security

press release

The Inter Ministerial Committee (IMC) on Comprehensive Social Security met at its ordinary meeting on Tuesday 7th November 2017, to consider progress on the implementation of the Constitutional Court orders relating to the payment of social grants. As per the recommendations of its previous IMC dated 13 September 2017, considered the reports from South African Social Security Agency (SASSA), South African Post Office (SAPO) and the National Treasury on its engagement with the two entities on the same issue.

The IMC met against the backdrop of ongoing engagement between SASSA and SAPO, and received briefings on the recent meeting between the Joint Committees of SCOPA and Portfolio Committee on Social Development. The IMC welcomed the intervention of the parliamentary committees and also noted the public anxiety that has arisen due to the delay in the finalisation of the appointment of an entity to pay social grants, after the expiry of the current service provider contract at the end of March 2018.

At its meeting, the IMC considered the report of National Treasury on the review process on the engagement between SASSA and SAPO. The National Treasury confirmed the hybrid model for the payment of grants.

The IMC is of the view that government should move with the necessary speed to resolve all outstanding issues related to this matter. The IMC has thus taken a decision to fast track the introduction of an integrated payment system which will be provided by government through a partnership between SASSA and SAPO. The approach will focus the evaluation and consolidation of the respective strengths of each entity and possible additional capacity from other parties.

The intervention includes partnership between SASSA and SAPO, Home Affairs, State Security Agency and the establishment of a dedicated team to develop a project plan by next week Friday. The Project Plan will outline the detailed plan for execution, resource requirements, critical milestones and communication strategy. This will also include the commitment to draw in additional capacity from other organs of state as may be required. The mandate of the dedicated team will be to ensure finalisation of the agreement between the parties, the contracting framework, risk assessment and mitigation, monitoring and evaluation. The dedicated team will report weekly to the IMC and will commit resources needed for execution of the project.

The IMC reaffirms its commitment to implement the Constitutional Court Orders through the deployment of all necessary resources to achieve the implementation of new system by end of March 2018. The IMC also reassure all South Africans and in particular the social grant beneficiaries that no card will expire on December 31, 2017.

Issued by: Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation

South Africa

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