By Phaladi Seakgwe
The Inter Ministerial Committee on Comprehensive social security held a press briefing this morning (12 July 2018) to provide progress on what has been done in relation to the directives of the Constitutional Court on payments of social grants in the country.
Led by the Minister in the Presidency Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma flanked by Ministers Susan Shabangu, Nomvula Mokonyane and Dr Siyabonga Cwele, the IMC assured South Africans that a lot of work has been done since the card swap process commenced. The recent technical glitches that led to some beneficiaries not receiving their money as they expected were also acknowledged. The Ministers apologized and committed that SASSA and SAPO are working hard to avoid a recurrence of this.
The IMC cautioned CPS to desist from obstructionist and destructive behavior of interfering with the card swap process in certain areas and revealed that there are legal processes underway to deal with these matters.
Minister Susan Shabangu also stated that she has already met with the leadership of the National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union (NEHAWU) to work on relations and that a commitment to work together to ensure that beneficiaries of social grants do not suffer has been made. She further explained that the negotiations between the SASSA and PSA will commence as directed by the court to deal with areas of dispute. “We are happy that the strike by PSA is over and everyone is at work”, said Minister Shabangu.
Acting SASSA CEO Mr. Abraham Mahlangu told reporters that an agreement has been signed on 19 June 2018 and a cash injection of R541 Million has been made to SAPO to address infrastructural challenges and build capacity.
Speaking on the recent strike that befell the post office, Minister Siyabonga Cwele said that part of the work that SAPO does is essential and whatever done should be within the framework of this understanding. He said parties are encouraged to go back to the negotiations table to resolve the impasse. The strike affects mainly postal services not the actual payment of social grants.
In conclusion, Minister Dlamini- Zuma urged beneficiaries of social grants to continue with the card swap process and said that the IMC will do everything to ensure that the directives of the court are met.
Over 1, 8 million beneficiaries have migrated to the new SASSA card so far.
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