About 1 500 child maintenance beneficiaries were reportedly left without their monthly payments from April following the crashing of the Justice Department’s electronic payment system.
Cape Town – About 1 500 child maintenance beneficiaries were reportedly left without their monthly payments from April following the crashing of the Justice Department’s electronic payment system.
This prompted Justice and Correctional Services Minister Ronald Lamola to instruct acting director-general Jacob Skosana to establish the cause of the crash and come up with measures to ensure that the incidents does not occur again.
Lamola revealed this in a written response to parliamentary questions by DA MP Chantel King who recently asked for elaborate details after the MojaPay system crashed on May 4.
King also sought to establish whether the database containing the details of beneficiaries was accurately stored in the system.
In his response, Lamola said: “It, unfortunately, crashed during the Alert Level 4 lockdown, and as a result, several beneficiaries did not receive their maintenance benefits.”
Lamola also indicated that all provinces were affected by the malfunctioning system.
“The Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal provinces were severely affected by the crash as the disruption was further exacerbated by the migration from the old payment system known as Justice Department of Accounting System (JDAS) to the new MojaPay system.”
He estimated the number of beneficiaries who could not receive money due to them at 1 500 from April 1.
“This resulted in several maintenance beneficiaries not receiving their monthly payments.”
The minister also said the closure of the JDAS system on March 31 had interrupted the processing of payments for some courts in the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal.
He highlighted that the closure of the JDAS system was due to the decision taken by the department that all the beneficiaries who were not on direct payment would have been migrated to MojaPay by the end of March.
“However, it transpired that there were some courts that had not been able to migrate the beneficiaries’ data to MojaPay by 31 March 2020. The old JDAS system was closed in respect of the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal despite the fact that not all courts in the two provinces had been successfully migrated to the MojaPay system.”
Lamola said beneficiaries were still being migrated from the JDAS to MojaPay system on a daily basis.
“The total number of beneficiaries still to be migrated is approximately 6 500, mainly Eastern Cape and Western Cape compared to 245 000 beneficiaries migrated when the new system (MojaPay) started.”
He further said the MojaPay application has since been restored incrementally from May 12 and was fully functional from May 28.
Lamola, however, said the database on MojaPay is accurate insofar as it reflects the data captured by end-users as part of the migration to the new system.
Lamola stated that the migration from the old JDAS to the new MojaPay system was part of the Department’s endeavour to prevent possible duplicated payments and potential risks to the department’s financial accountability.
He acknowledged that the decision to close the old system has severely affected the livelihoods of the maintenance beneficiaries.
“It is for this reason that I have directed the acting director-general to investigate this matter further. “The investigation will include the cause of the crash and its wider impact, besides the maintenance payments.”
“The investigation is with a view of ensuring that appropriate corrective action is taken to avoid recurrence in the future,” he added.