The South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) has made no firm arrangements with any key players to ensure a smooth handover at the end of March when the contract with Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) ends. Because there are no concrete plan with CPS, the banks or retailers, the payment of social grants to 11-million vulnerable recipients across the country in April is looking extremely precarious. What is more, it appears that the critical cut-off date for some decisive action from Sassa is not the end of March but early January when CPS starts to wind down its operations. The prospect of hiccups with the payments of social grants has serious implications for Shoprite and Pick n Pay whose major role in helping to distribute 11-million grants places them in an uncomfortable frontline position.Shoprite CEO Whitey Basson said on Monday his company had not received information about any firm plans for April and there had been no discussions with Sassa. Basson said it was wrong to expos...

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