The South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) and the South African Post Office have reached a "landmark" agreement to ensure social grant beneficiaries continue to receive their payments after Sassa’s contract with Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) ends on March 31, Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe announced on Sunday morning. In a setback to the ambitions of Sapo CEO Mark Barnes, who had hoped Sapo’s Postbank would be the sole service provider, it is to be just one of four payment channels available to social grant recipients. The hybrid model the parties agreed to will also enable beneficiaries to receive their monthly payments via bank accounts at commercial banks, merchants in large retail shops, and a "second tier" of merchants that includes village banks, general dealers, small retail outlets, and spaza shops. The hybrid model will be phased in over five years. "One of the primary objectives of this phasing in is to fundamentally reduce cash payments for security, effici...

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