The South African National Taxi Council (SANTACO) has welcomed a partnership with government to ensure that social grant beneficiaries are being transported safely and on time to pay point stations.
Social Development Minister Susan Shabangu met with the national leadership of SANTACO to put together contingency plans in anticipation of 1 October 2018, when the Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) contract ends.
Addressing the media on the outcomes of the meeting, Shabangu explained that the purpose of the meeting was to ensure that the department is able to talk with SANTACO, but also start to address some of the issues and possible cooperation at different levels, as there are beneficiaries in rural areas, who also need transport.
“Our purpose is to make sure that as we move forward we can take on board the various stakeholders and have them understand our challenges. As you know we have six or five months to meet the court order and therefore talking to the transport industry becomes very important because some of our beneficiaries are going to require transport as they go out to get their payments.
“The department saw a need to meet with leadership of the national taxi industry in making sure that when the crunch time comes, we are not found napping or not ready to deal with the situation. I’m very happy that we’ve identified what we need to do and have set up a team to work together in refining the whole process and ensure that the collaboration happens in a smooth way,” the Minister said.
SANTACO President Philip Taaibosch thanked Shabangu for approaching the taxi industry, noting that it’s the first time that confidence has been shown to the taxi industry.
Taaibosch said SANTACO would sit down, do a thorough consultation and ensure that what the Minister and the department is looking for, [and] “when it is unveiled, it would be a proper plan which would be addressing the problems of grant recipients in the country”.
“With history you learn that SANTACO, particularly the taxi industry has been professors in the transportation of people, it’s only at the later stage we were forgotten. We want to call upon on all departments to say the taxi industry is ready to deliver your responsibility as government to the majority of South Africans,” Taaibosch said.
More than 1 million migrated from old SASSA card
Meanwhile, as at 26 June 2018, a total of 1 274 719 beneficiaries against a target of approximately 2.7 million, were migrated from the old South Africa Social Security Agency (SASSA)/Grindrod Card to the new SASSSA/South African Post Office (SAPO) payment card.
A total of R10 874 920 have been paid to beneficiaries from April to July 2018.