Many Sassa beneficiaries were not able to draw cash on Sunday.

Johannesburg - The migration crisis that resulted in an estimated 700 000 social grant beneficiaries not receiving their payouts from the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) on time could have been avoided with better planning, civic group Sanco said on Thursday.

A new payment system through the SA Post Office should have been piloted beforehand and contingency measures put in place to eliminate anticipated risks associated with the high volume of transactions before going live, South African National Civic Organisation spokesperson Jabu Mahlangu said.

He said Sanco would accept Sassa's apology only if it came with the full assurance that technical glitches would have been resolved before the next round of payments.

"Communication must be intensified and regular updates on the new system provided to beneficiaries to avoid inconveniences ," Mahlangu said, adding the more than 17 million social grant recipients must be treated with respect and dignity.

"The needy and vulnerable must experience prompt, efficient and professional service that is in line with batho pele (people first)," he said.

African News Agency/ANA