Cape Town – Cash trucks will be used as a back-up option to deliver money to deep rural areas, to ensure people get their grants, Social Development Director General Zane Dangor has said.

There was a fall-back option if negotiations with the service provider currently responsible for paying social grants, Cash Paymaster Services, fell through, Dangor told the portfolio committee on communications on Thursday.

He said 90% of grant beneficiaries had accounts with Grindrod Bank. They would use the banks to pay those recipients.

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A total of 40% of Sassa beneficiaries had their grants paid out in cash. They would, therefore, have to change from biometric security measures to using PINs at cash pay points and Post Banks.

A reasonable second option for rural areas would be to transport the cash in trucks. Dangor admitted this was risky, but that it had been done before. This would be the last option, if all else failed.

The most practical option was still to go with CPS, and negotiations would end on Friday, he added.

Acting committee chairperson Hope Malgas asked Dangor to update the committee daily. If Sassa failed, the Constitutional Court would also hold Parliament to account, she said.

Cabinet’s Sassa meeting

Meanwhile, Cabinet would discuss the pending Sassa social grants crisis with all affected parties next week, Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe said on Thursday.

“Cabinet decided we will have full time next week to get a comprehensive report from all teams, not just social development, but also National Treasury, and all affected parties,” he told journalists at a briefing following a Cabinet meeting.

It would be held in Cape Town at a date still to be determined.

“All of us are as concerned as everybody else, as the deputy president highlighted yesterday in Parliament. As a government, we are deeply and totally committed that come April 1, 17 million people must be given their social grants,” he said.

Cabinet would only say what its position on the matter is after the meeting.

Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini had been summoned to appear before Parliament’s standing committee on public accounts on Tuesday.