29 January 2018
City Press article on SASSA/SAPO agreement
Government has noted the article in the City Press on Sunday 28th January, which makes reference to a supposed complaint letter by the CEO of South African Post Office (SAPO) Mr Mark Barnes to the Director-General of Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME) Ms Mpumi Mpofu and the Acting CEO of South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) Ms Pearl Bhengu. The article reports the frustrations of SAPO in the manner in which SASSA deals with matters that are meant to finalise the implementation of the SASSA/SAPO Service Agreement.
The issues that are raised in the article are meant to be dealt with through the existing protocol of resolving disputes between the two parties. This protocol and dispute resolution mechanism were agreed upon together with the signing of the signed Services Agreement signed by both parties.
Government understands the interest the South African public has on this matter. It is for this reason, that it has regularly briefed the public through the scheduled media briefings and the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Social Development and Standing Committee on Public Accounts (SCOPA).
Since its establishment the IMC has appeared twice before the Joint Parliamentary Committee and held two media briefings to update South Africans on the work of the IMC. One of the deliverables was the signed Implementation Protocol which serves as one of the pillars to meet the Constitutional Court Order. It was signed by SASSA, SAPO and the Chair of IMC on the 17 November 2017. Subsequent to that on the 7 December 2017 a Services Agreement was signed by SASSA and SAPO.
Amongst the issues agreed upon has been the dispute resolution protocol which can to be invoked in the event of any disagreement. The IMC, expects both parties to adhere to this protocol.
On the 19 January 2018, the IMC met to receive update reports on the work done by the respective teams during the December period. The Report will be shared with the Cabinet and the South African public at the appropriate time. This is in line with the regular updates which the IMC is required to do.
Minister Radebe reiterated that “this matter is too serious for government not to prioritise,” He further went on to say “all the parties have signed a dispute resolution protocol which he appeals that they should respect and utilise”
The IMC on Comprehensive Social Protection remains committed to regularly brief the nation on progress of its work.
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