Minister in the Presidency for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, Jeff Radebe, has appealed to all the parties, who signed a dispute resolution protocol on the payment of social grants, to respect and use the agreement.
This follows the article published on Sunday, 28 January, which makes reference to a supposed complaint letter by South African Post Office (SAPO) CEO, Mark Barnes, to the Director General of the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, Mpumi Mpofu and Acting CEO of South African Social Security Agency (SASSA), 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.
Minister Radebe reiterated that the matter is too serious for government not to prioritise.
According to the Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) on Comprehensive Social Protection, which is chaired by Minister Radebe, 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 scheduled media briefings and the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Social Development and Standing Committee on Public Accounts (SCOPA),” the IMC said in a statement.
It said since its establishment, it 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 17 November 2017. Subsequent to that, on 7 December 2017 a Services Agreement was signed by SASSA and SAPO,” the IMC said.
Meanwhile, the IMC met on 19 January 2018 to receive update reports on the work done by the respective teams during the December period.
The committee said the report will be shared with 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. The IMC on Comprehensive Social Protection remains committed to regularly brief the nation on progress of its work.”