SASSA incompetence sees millions to Grindrod Bank

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Each beneficiary to cough up for mismanagement

Marianne Thamm for Daily Maverick

The South African Social Security Agency’s (SASSA) incompetence will see  5.4 million social grant beneficiaries who receive their grants using the Sassa card coughing up R10 in bank charges to Grindrod Bank, which will score a windfall of R54-million in April alone. Meanwhile, Net1/CPS has responded that the company cannot be prejudiced because of “shortcomings” in Sassa’s processes with regard to repaying R316-million to Treasury for “additional registrations” conducted in 2013.

 Within a few days, the consequences of Sassa’s incompetence and mismanagement will directly hit the pockets of 5.4 million social grant beneficiaries who will each pay R10 in banking fees to access their social grants using their Sassa cards.

The situation has arisen because there is no contract between Sassa and Grindrod Bank, which provides banking services to Sassa, while Sassa transfers beneficiaries from the Grindrod account to South African Post Office Post Bank Accounts.

On Wednesday, ANC chair of the portfolio committee for social development, Zoleka Capa, expressed displeasure that beneficiaries would be saddled with the cost.“For a beneficiary to now lose R10 is too much. They will not be prepared for this loss. We need to work out how it will be refunded to them because they must not suffer; it’s not their fault this is happening.”

Indeed, it seems to have escaped Capa that under her watch, ANC members of the social development committee have given Sassa and former Minister of Social Development Bathabile Dlamini a very easy, sweetheart ride.

It took members of opposition parties, NGOs, as well as Parliament’s Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) to try to prevent a massive national crisis and to hold Dlamini and Sassa to account.