With just ninety-nine days to go until a new service provider needs to begin distributing social grants, there is still no agreement on the social grant payments method.
Parliament is now looking to National Treasury to help break the impasse with the South African Post Office (Sapo) offering its services.
Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini says the Post Bank can help, but with only certain elements of the distribution.
Mark Barnes, SA Post Office CEO tells Ray White, The Midday Report stand-in host, that they have in the past couple of days tabled sufficient facts for an objective assessment of whether or not the post office is capable and ready to take over the payments of social grants.
There are two parties that disagree on the evaluation of the capabilities. There was a time before the Director General of National Treasury got involved where I don't think there was a full exploration and full understanding of those facts. We've achieved that now.— Mark Barnes, CEO, SA Post office
Now we've both submitted to the National Treasury's view and guidance on their view and they'll call on the necessary experts who'll pass a judgement.— Mark Barnes, CEO, SA Post office
Barnes goes on to say they are a fully fledged bank and are more than capable but will welcome any objective assessments.
He says should there not be a middle ground where an agreement is met. He wishes that a combined team be established to achieve the primary objective, which is to build an organ of state that will deliver strategic functions of the state.
The assumption that the post office may not be able to service rural areas is not entirely true, he says, as they will make use of cash and transit services. He adds that the system won't change except for grant recipients receiving new cards.
I think we need to expel the notion that this is a highly complex or scientific thing, it is not. It is just a volume game. There's a lot. Post Bank already has six million clients who transact with us every month.— Mark Barnes, CEO, SA Post office
Its not like we haven't paid social grants before. Way back in 2009, we were paying social grants.— Mark Barnes, CEO, SA Post office
Listen to the full interview in the clip below: