Pensioners queue to collect their grants at a Sassa pay point in Jeppes Reef, Mpumalanga. Picture: SOWETAN/SANDILE NDLOVU
Pensioners queue to collect their grants at a Sassa pay point in Jeppes Reef, Mpumalanga. Picture: SOWETAN/SANDILE NDLOVU

Former Postbank MD Busisiwe Memela-Khambula has been appointed CEO of the SA Social Security Agency (Sassa).

Memela-Khambula was appointed by social development minister Susan Shabangu.

She will be taking over from Abraham Mahlangu, who has been acting CEO since 2018. 

Sassa, which is responsible for the distribution of social grants, has had three CEOs — two in acting positions — since 2017, when the grants debacle unfolded. 

Mahlangu replaced Pearl Bhengu who took up the position in July 2017. Bhengu replaced Thokozani Magwaza, who resigned from the position after a high-profile spat with then social development minister Bathabile Dlamini.

Magwaza had accused Dlamini of frustrating the process of the Sassa taking over the payment of social grants from Cash Paymaster Services (CPS).

The SA Post Office has taken over the role of distributing social grants to 10.9-million beneficiaries each month, after Sassa's contract with CPS eventually came to an end. That followed a Constitutional Court judgment that Sassa's contract with CPS was invalid. 

On Monday, Sassa said Memela-Khambula came with vast senior management experience in the private, public and developmental sectors of the economy.

Memela-Khambula is a business strategist and has served on several boards of directors. She has also served in CEO roles. She has had vast experience in the banking sector, which the agency says will come in handy for Sassa.

Shabangu thanked Mahlangu for holding the fort during a challenging time for Sassa.

“The Sassa and Sapo partnership in paying social grants is at an early stage and [Memela-Khambula's] appointment will certainly play a key role in increasing the momentum to ensure that service delivery is enhanced,” the minister said.

quintalg@businesslive.co.za