Twelve months and four CEOs ago — including two acting — the public looked on in disbelief as the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) seemed incapable of realising the implications of the March 31 2017 deadline. Here we are again, looking on with even more disbelief as it becomes more apparent that there is no detailed plan for April 1 2018. The only thing that saved the country from the inevitable chaos that would have resulted from the failure to distribute social grants effectively in 2017 was intervention by the top court in the land. The self-imposed crisis resulted in the Constitutional Court micromanaging a 12-month extension, during which Sassa was to extricate itself from Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) and put in place an alternative failsafe distribution system. Not only was Sassa required to submit monthly progress reports to the court, an expert panel was also appointed to oversee the transition and required to submit quarterly reports.It was an unprecedented lev...

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