The South African government will continue paying millions of the country’s most vulnerable people social security payments on April 1, despite not signing a new deal with an existing service-provider, the minister of social development said on Sunday.
The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) is scrambling to ensure that as many as 17 million people continue to receive their money, despite concerns that retaining the existing service provider is both unlawful and costly, following a 2014 ruling by the country’s highest court that the tendering process was unlawful.
For millions of South Africa’s most vulnerable, SASSA money is often the difference between an empty and a full belly.
“We will continue paying social grants beyond March 31 when the contract with the current service provider comes to an end,” Minister of Social Development Bathabile Dlamini told the media.
“As has been the case in the past no one will go unpaid.”
Dlamini said the South African Post Office’s more than 2,600 outlets will be used as one of the payment services for social security in the transition and future phases.