Telecommunications and Postal Services Minister Siyabonga Cwele says the South African Post Office (SAPO) is ready to assist with the payment of social grants as soon as its services will be required.
The Minister said this when Ministers in the Economic Cluster responded to questions in the National Council of Provinces in Parliament on Wednesday.
The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) is working on migrating the payment of grants to 17 million beneficiaries from Cash Paymaster Services (CPS).
The CPS grant payment contract, which was declared invalid by the Constitutional Court in 2014, would have come to an end on 31 March 2017. The court, however, suspended the invalidity so the payment of grants could continue.
Minister Cwele said on Wednesday it should be noted that while SAPO is a service provider, it is working very hard to assist another sister state agency, SASSA, which has the responsibility of taking over the payment of social grants to citizens.
He said they were working in a collaborative manner.
The Minister said SAPO’s Post Bank, with its assets and resources, was more than capable of delivering social grants to all beneficiaries.
Minister Cwele was responding to questions from NCOP United Democratic Movement (UDM) Member of Parliament from the Eastern Cape, Lennox Gaehler, who had asked if the SA Post Office had the capability to administer social grant payments, and whether it has enough far-reaching points of service.
“Let me reiterate that the South African Post Office has told me that it has sufficient assets and capabilities and human resources to facilitate the payment of social grants. We have a national footprint of more than 2 800 points of presence across the country,” he said.
The Minister said that having a banking licence is not a prerequisite for a transactional business of paying social grants.
“We can pay social grants because we have Post Bank, which is operational right now.
“I can, nonetheless, confirm that after complying with all requirements pertaining to a request for authorisation to establish a fully-fledged bank, we have made all the submissions to the South African Reserve Bank and we are awaiting the response of the regulator – which is the South African Reserve Bank.
“It is also important that in addition to that, in April this year, we appointed a fully-fledged Board of the Post Bank itself to guide this process and we have been working very well with them and SAPO to guide this process. We did meet the deadline which was set by the South African Reserve Bank as the regulator of the 4th of July.” –SAnews.gov.za
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