The Sassa-Sapo grants deal: All the details revealed

Grant recipients finally have a deal that will ensure they are paid without their personal information being shared and the Post Office (Sapo) will score just over R2.2-billion a year, says the agreement between SA Social Security Agency (Sassa) and Sapo.

The service agreement, which is the principal agreement between them, was signed in Pretoria last week and details the obligations of each party and how much it will cost for each beneficiary to transact.

The agreement will commence for a period of five years to end on March 31 2023 and the Post Office has costed the work at R2 250 261 437.

The cost to Sassa per beneficiary is broken down as follows:

  • For Sassa-Sapo card users: R6.71
  • Sapo branch services users: R12.41
  • Cash PayPoint users: R55.60
  • Bank beneficiaries R6.71

The beneficiaries are also set to have three free merchant withdrawals, one mini statement and at least one card replacement among other banking perks.

Unlike the deal with Cash Payment Services, which commercialised the beneficiary’s information to sell them funeral schemes and make deductions, which left beneficiaries with little money left, the new agreement has a clause protecting the data of beneficiaries.

“Sapo and its subcontractors will keep beneficiary data, received from Sassa or otherwise collected from the beneficiaries, private and may not use or cause the use of data for any purpose other than payment of grants,” reads the agreement.

It goes on to state Sapo and its subcontractors will not invite beneficiaries to “opt-in” to the sharing by Sapo or its subcontractors of confidential information for the marketing of goods and services.

CPS is still in the process of migrating beneficiaries’ information back to Sassa after the agency received over 130 000 complaints about unauthorised deductions which were mostly for airtime.

The costs Sapo has charged will stay the same for the five years the services will be rendered and Sassa is expected to pay the post office no more than 30 days after each invoice has been submitted.

As of April 1, Sapo will provide electronic banking services including opening accounts and issuing cards at local Sassa offices and at Sapo outlets. The post office will also develop biometrics as required by Sassa.

But software that will replace the Net1/CPS incumbent disbursement model still needs to be developed, which the agreement states it will be done in conjunction with the State Information Technology Agency and The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research.

After 1 April SAPO will also take on the cash in transit and guard services as well as card disbursement services.

To capacitate SASSA to one day take over the payment system the two parties have agreed to implement the necessary recruitment and training of human resources.

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Athandiwe Saba
Athandiwe Saba

Athandiwe Saba is a multi award-winning journalist who is passionate about data, human interest issues, governance and everything that isn’t on social media. She is an author, an avid reader and trying to find the answer to the perfect balance between investigative journalism, online audiences and the decline in newspaper sales. It’s a rough world and a rewarding profession.

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