Picture: David Ritchie/ANA Pictures
JOHANNESBURG - Taking over the payment of social grants in line with the Constitutional Court ruling will be done, but the process will be gradual because there are no funds and requisite skills to implement the takeover, Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini said on Friday.

“The in-sourcing and integration of the grants administration and payment value chain is an enormous task that requires time and high-level specialised skills and resources that are not readily available,” Dlamini said during an inter-ministerial committee on social security press briefing in Pretoria.

“The gradual phasing in of these processes will therefore ensure a seamless transition. As part of these interim arrangements, and in line with the position of the governing party, Sassa began collaborating with the South African Post Office (Sapo) with a view to work together to ensure payment of social grants beyond March 2018,” she said.

“The IMC (inter-ministerial committee) has also recommended that a comprehensive due diligence be undertaken on Sapo,” said Dlamini.

She said the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, was appointed to conduct the due diligence report, which was concluded on Thursday.

“The bid evaluation committee will consider the report on September 20. We will announce the final decision before the end of next week,” Dlamini said.

She said Sassa has committed to “a five-year change programme” for the takeover to pay social grants.

“The proposed takeover period is based on extensive research into various payment options and recommendations of the ministerial advisory committee. Sassa has adopted these recommendations with clear and specific deliverables during the transition period,” Dlamini said.