19 March 2018
Statement by the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Comprehensive Social Security
Government has noted the story in yesterday’s edition of The Sunday Independent claiming that the Postbank is not ready to play its expected role in the new grant payments system. The headline to this story is particularly inaccurate as it suggests that because of this, millions of grant recipients may not receive their grants come 1 April 2018. Nothing could be further from the truth.
The context of what seems to be a sensational story would appear to be a scant reading of government’s 4th and final quarterly report to the Constitutional Court of South Africa on Friday 16 March 2018 in which the readiness of SAPO was clearly outlined.
The issue of a banking license not being granted to SAPO’s Postbank can and should be read in the context of the full report which outlines the major progress made by government in ensuring its full commitment to the deadlines set by the Concourt when it requested that a new payments system be in place come 1 April 2018.
The interpretation by the journalist of the Sunday independent fails to identify that the Postbank is already licensed as a full participant in the National Payment System and therefore already daily receives payment files from Bankserv to credit Postbank accounts with salaries and other credits. The fact that the National Treasury has not condoned that the Postbank open a Corporate Account for the SASSA payments, will have no bearing or negative impact on Postbank’s ability to process the individual credits into SASSA beneficiaries’ accounts, as this will be conducted through Bankserve.
It is disappointing that at this late stage of the process, there are still members of the media who resort to sensational and erroneous reporting. This when the beneficiaries of social grants need our collective efforts to reassure and inform them. The media is key in this process.
The submission of the fourth and final quarterly report provides the opportunity to assure South Africans that our social grants programme is a service to our people. We are mindful of the tension and anxiety which uncertainty has caused and commit to ensure that such never happens again. Government reiterates above all else, its unwavering commitment to pay social grants. In the year in which we celebrate the Centenary of the birth of two of the giants of our liberation struggle, Nelson Mandela and Albertina Sisulu, and in the month in which we celebrate Human Rights, the right to dignity afforded by social grants to over 10 million South Africans, must be celebrated, upheld and protected.
Ms Tasneem Carrim
Acting GCIS Director-General
Cell: 082 467 9227
Tshegofatso Modubu, Director: Media and Communication
Cell: 083 276 0786
Issued by Government Communication and Information System