Picture: David Ritchie/ANA Pictures

Pretoria - The South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) and South African Post Office (Sapo) have reached a landmark agreement over the payment of social grants.

This was announced by minister in the Presidency and chairman of the interministerial committee (IMC) tasked with social security Jeff Radebe at a media briefing in Pretoria on Sunday.

Sassa had a Friday deadline to submit its takeover plan to the Constitutional Court after its contract with Cash Paymaster Services comes to an end on March 31 next year. 

Addressing journalists, Radebe confirmed that an agreement had been concluded between the two entities.

"I am delighted today to announce to members of the media and the South African nation that we have reached a landmark agreement between the Sapo and the Sassa to bring to life a new grants payment system. 

READ MORE: Provisional deal struck between #Sassa and SA Post Office

"This new system while drawing on the resources and capabilities of the South African democratic state, will also make allowance for the participation of other partners such as enterprises and commercial banks, in the payment of social grants to beneficiaries."

Radebe added that an Implementation Protocol agreement was finalised and signed between Sassa and Sapo, and the chair on behalf of the IMC, on November 17, 2017. 

This led to the signing of a Services Agreement between Sassa and Sapo on 7 December 2017. 

"This Agreement gives effect to the implementation of the phasing in of Sapo and the Postbank as a service provider and also as one of the key channels through which grants will be paid.

The team also submitted "a consolidated model to the Constitutional Court" on December 8, 2017, Radebe added. 

The Constitutional Court previously declared Sassa's contract with CPS illegal, giving Sassa and the social development department until April 1 this year to bring on board a new service provider. 

However, Sassa did not find a new service provider and failed to conclude an agreement with the post office.

The IMC was called on to intervene following a deadlock in negotiations between Sassa and Sapo.

Additional reporting by ANA