Sassa Head office

The South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) says it won’t be abandoning its biometric system that led to the countrywide strike of National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) members earlier this week.

This system is intended to reduce fraud in the grant payment system.

The strike was called off after Sassa agreed to suspend the use of the biometric system.

The agency on Thursday told Parliament’s Social Development committee that the suspension is only temporary, and it will not affect the registration of new beneficiaries nor the payment of existing ones.

Nehawu members downed tools this week claiming they have not had sufficient training to use Sassa’s biometric system.

Sassa’s acting CEO Abraham Mahlangu says a task team has been appointed to address the technical and operational issues that have been raised by employees.

He says the registration of beneficiaries will continue, and they should not be turned away from Sassa offices because of the inability to check their biometrics.

“[Even] the payment of grants will not be prohibited or prevented by the biometric system within Sassa.”

He says the Post Office has enough new Sassa cards to migrate some 600,000 beneficiaries who have not yet exchanged their old card for a new one.

EWN