78 year old Mary Kapeleketa of Kazungula District with her great grand-children. She is one of the beneficiaries for the government social cash transfer scheme

GOVERNMENT is this year scaling up the Social Cash Transfer (SCT) to additional 27 districts in order to cover the entire country.

Eastern Province Permanent Secretary Chanda Kasolo said in a speech read on his behalf by assistant secretary Royd Tembo during the training of district welfare assistant committees (DWAC) members for Zanaco payment solution in Chipata on Wednesday.

Mr Kasolo said by the end of this year, the programme was expected to cover over 500,000 beneficiary households.

He said over the years, the programme has recorded significant positive impacts on the beneficiary livelihoods.

“These impacts ladies and gentlemen necessitated the need for the SCT programme to be scaled up to cover over 240,000 beneficiary households in 78 districts,”Mr Kasolo said.

He said SCT programme was one of the Zambia’s major social protection interventions whose aim was to reduce extreme poverty and prevents its intergenerational transfer.

He explained that although in the past years the SCT programme has managed to scale up to the extent it was today and recorded all the positive impacts, a few challenges related to the implementation and management have been observed.

Mr Kasolo said the most notable challenge the programme implementers have experienced was delivering transfers to the intended beneficiaries.

He said since the first pilot of the SCT programme in Kalomo in 2003 to date, a manual payment system using the pay point managers (PPMS) has been used.

He said the manual payment system has been proved to be problematic adding that it took long for cash to be delivered to the beneficiaries due to the long processes which was taking cash to beneficiaries proved to be costly.

Mr Kasolo said the ministry of community development and social welfare started exploring for alternative payment solutions that would address the challenges presented by the current used manual payment system.

“After a lot of investigation and research, the ministry decided to opt for an electronic payment solution that uses a bank, the bank will provide visa cards to all beneficiaries on the programme,” he said.

“The payment solutions which uses visa cards has a number of advantages which include secure payment, timely delivery of transfers, allows beneficiaries to save part of the money for future use, thus beneficiaries can decide when to withdraw the money and the risk associated with the pay point managers carrying money will be removed,” he said.

Mr Kasolo said he was confident that the new payment solution would improve management of the SCT programme and contribute to achieving the intended impacts of the programme.

The electronic payment solution would be piloted in 27 districts of Lusaka, Eastern and Central provinces before being rolled out to all the provinces.

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7 COMMENTS

  1. Good move but plz make sure the banks don’t reduce the amounts given to beneficiaries. Our banks have alot of unnecessary bank charges. This is discouraging alot from putting their money in the bank. A k100 in ones account today will be k70 after a week or two…! I feel our banks today are more into profit making than helping their clients..! With strictly monitoring, district commissioners offices were going to be better pay points.

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    • How will government pay the new beneficiaries when they can not pay the ones already on the program? There is already a list of people that were registered last year for the Cash transfer but 12 months down the line they have not been paid.

      And what difference does K70 per month make? Mr Kasoslo, can you live on K70 per month?

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  2. PS please speak only on your province ‘entire country’ is a policy statement often the preserve of a Minister but hey until your uncle become Presido what would you know about civil service.

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  3. Who are the beneficiaries, pay point managers (PPMS), program implementers, and what is qualification criteria, amounts of benefits, estimated total number of beneficiaries per province & whole country, manual payment system, other challenges faced by implementers apart from delivering transfers to the intended beneficiaries? This information is necessary before we can comment & advise. We don’t want chipante pante like yourselves.

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  4. I thought Assistant Secretary for Eastern province was Patrick Mwanaleza. Anyway, it’s good news that this can be extended to as many people in the country.

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