Respondents on SASSA’s case welcome judgement

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Advocacy group Black Sash has welcomed the Constitutional Court’s ruling on Friday extending social security agency SASSA’s contract with grants distributor Cash Paymaster Services  (CPS) by another six months.

SASSA brought an urgent application saying it would not have been ready to pay the over two-million social grant beneficiaries who received their money in cash.

The contract between SASSA and CPS is due to expire at the end of this month. Black Sash was one of the respondents in the matter.

“It is only the cash payments and it is only for 2.9 million people. So that means that the system is shifting away from CPS. And the reason why this is extended is that SASSA don’t have a tender in place for the cash payment. The fundamental issue here is, we cannot let those people not be paid and many of those people actually live in rural areas where they might not have access to a bank,” said the group’s Lynette Maart.

Meanwhile, Corruption Watch has also welcomed the judgment of the High Court in Pretoria which orders grants distributor Cash Paymasters Services to pay back over R300 million it unlawfully received from the social security agency.

In delivering the judgment Justice Moroa Tsoka ordered CPS to pay back the money it received from June 2014 to date with accrued interest.

Corruption Watch approached the court in March 2015 to ask it to declare the transaction between SASSA and CPS unlawful.

Corruption Watch CEO, David Lewis says the judgment is an important step towards the eradication of corruption in the country.

In 2014, the court invalidated the contract to pay social grants to 17-million beneficiaries entered into in 2012.

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