"With only four months to go before a decision is made on a future social grant payment system and service provider, the Constitutional Court has ordered the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) to provide a detailed progress plan on takeover arrangements by December 8. The court also wants the plan to specify roles and responsibilities, precise timelines and risk mitigation measures, and a contingency plan if a seamless transition for payments to 17 million beneficiaries is not realistic."

Read More: https://www.iol.co.za/news/south-africa/western-cape/concourt-orders-sassa-to-reveal-all-information-plans-11969971

"The Constitutional Court has ordered the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) to provide a progress plan on phasing out the contract of social grants distributor Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) to avert a crisis that could place the livelihoods of 17-million vulnerable South Africans at risk."

Read More: https://www.moneyweb.co.za/news/south-africa/constitutional-court-ups-the-ante-on-sassas-social-grants-payment-plan/?utm_content=buffer2e7ab&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

The Concourt continues its oversight of the new SASSA tender process, and today closed the option for any litigating party to seek relief from any other court.

The Black Sash Trust joined the AllPay 2 Constitutional Court matter on Friday, 13 March 2015 as a Friend of the Court (amicus curiae). Unlawful and fraudulent debit deductions by third parties from the bank accounts of grant beneficiaries persist under an invalid contract for the national payment of social grants awarded to the current provider, Cash Paymaster Services (CPS).

National Director, Lynette Maart, said the Black Sash is glad that the Concourt has acted swiftly to ensure that the new tender is awarded and implemented in the interest of grant beneficiaries. We are pleased about the Concourt ruling to finalise and implement the new tender without further delay.

Key milestones with timeframes include that the RFP be circulated to prospective bidders and the Concourt by 17 April 2015; bids be submitted by 17 May 2015; and SASSA award the new tender by 15 October 2015. Furthermore any further relief by parties, such as CPS, will have to be channelled through the Concourt, and on very limited grounds.

The Black Sash remains committed to act in the best interest of the social grant beneficiaries, and to bring to a swift end these unlawful and fraudulent deductions.

For more information:

National Advocacy Manage, Elroy Paulus on 0827485621 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Lynette Maart, National Director on 083 628 3425 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Media Release

On Friday 23 March 2018, the Constitutional Court handed down judgment following an application made by SASSA for a six month extension of the CPS contract to facilitate the payment of social grants to beneficiaries who receive their grants in cash. This matter was heard on 6 March 2018.  This comes nearly a year after CALS and the Black Sash approached the Constitutional Court to avoid a national crisis in the social grants system, as SASSA had provided no plans to take over the payment of social grants from the invalid CPS contract.

On Friday 23 March 2018, the Constitutional Court allowed for a further six month extension of the contract under its supervision and on the same conditions as the current contract. The Minister of Social Development and SASSA are to file reports on a monthly basis with the Constitutional Court from 30 April 2018 to 31 August 2018 on the steps taken to implement the court order.

This extension of the CPS contract only relates to cash payments for about 2.8 million social grants beneficiaries who receive their social grants in cash. SASSA is also ordered to ensure the protection of the personal data of grants beneficiaries during this extension, which has been a challenge for grants beneficiaries under the CPS contract.

The Constitutional Court has further called on the former Minister of Social Development, Bathabile Dlamini as well as the acting CEO of SASSA Ms Pearl Bhengu to file written affidavits with the court by no later than 16 April 2018, to show cause as to why they should not be joined in the matter in their personal capacities and why they should not be held personally liable to pay costs of the application brought by SASSA.

It is not the first time the Constitutional Court has invited Minister Dlamini to show cause for why she should not be held personally liable for her role in the social grants crisis. She is still subject to an inquiry handled by Judge Ngoepe which is aimed to assist the Constitutional Court to decide her personal liability, if any, for her role in the social grants in March 2017.

“The order for the former Minister and acting CEO to show cause on why they should not be joined in this matter in their personal capacities and be held personally liable to pay the costs shows the seriousness with which the court is handling the social grants crisis” says Wandisa Phama, attorney at CALS.

“Following the legacy of Minister Bathabile Dlamini in the social grants system, SASSA doesn’t seem to be moving urgently enough to restore stability in the grants payment system. It is also unclear what plans Ms Bhengu as the acting CEO is setting up in order to take over the cash payments from CPS after this six month period.  Therefore with no proper planning in a situation like this, someone must be held accountable,” Phama added.

“Black Sash welcomes the measures that the Constitutional Court is putting in place to ensure the protection of personal data of grants beneficiaries,” says Lynette Maart, national director of the Black Sash Trust.

-ends-

For inquiries, please contact:

From the Centre for Applied Legal Studies

 

Wandisa Phama, Attorney

Akhona Mehlo, Attorney

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

078 684 3140 / 011 717 8608

081 550 7997 / 011 717 8606

 

From the Black Sash Trust

 

Hoodah Abrahams-Fayker

Angie Richardson

Black Sash National Advocacy Manager

Media Relations

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

072 252 0333 / 021 686 6952 

083 397 2512

 

"Net1 UEPS Technologies, the parent company of Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) – which pays out social grants – was ordered by the Constitutional Court to submit a report on their profits. This followed a ruling by the Constitutional Court that they were not allowed to profit from an ‘invalid contract’. CPS had continued paying our social grants after its contract with the Department of Social Welfare had expired."

Read More: https://www.power987.co.za/news/cps-has-not-declared-its-profits-aidc/

"Social grants distributor Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) has for the first time revealed the extent of financial losses it might incur if the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) does not hike the company’s fee to pay social grants for an additional six months.

In an answering affidavit to the Constitutional Court, CPS director Nunthakumarin Pillay said if Sassa paid it the same amount to distribute social grants under the extended contract, CPS would operate at a loss of at least R70 million a month or R420 million for six months."

Read more: https://www.moneyweb.co.za/news/south-africa/cps-sees-r420m-losses-under-extended-sassa-contract/

"The details of a plan between SASSA and the South African Post Office  (Sapo) needs to be presented to the Constitutional Court today. Sassa and Scopa entered into an agreement last week but details around this deal are yet to be announced. The Constitutional Court ruled that the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) hand over the distribution of grants from CPS in 2018.The South African Post Office was tipped to be the obvious choice but at a briefing a few weeks ago, Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini said they were not capable of doing so."

Read More: http://www.enca.com/south-africa/d-day-for-sassa-as-grants-crisis-persists?utm_campaign=Echobox&utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Twitter#link_time=1512712201

"The Sassa crisis inquiry has heard that former Social Development Department Director-General Zane Dangor was excluded from crucial executive meetings about the controversial workstreams. Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini is defending her role in the social grants debacle. The Black Sash Trust, a rights group, approached the court last year after Sassa acknowledged that it would not be able to pay millions of grants in April last year. Vincent Maleka is cross-examining Dlamini on behalf of Dangor. Maleka asked Dlamini whether the former Director-General was consulted about all the meetings as part of the minister's monitoring exercise."

Read More: http://ewn.co.za/2018/01/25/dangor-excluded-from-executive-meetings-on-workstreams-sassa-inquiry-hears

'Minister of Social Development Bathabile Dlamini has denied that the work streams she established undermined the work of South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) officials. In a letter sent to the Constitutional Court on 3 April 2017, former SASSA Chief Executive Officer Thokozani Magwaza accused Dlamini of establishing “parallel decision making and communications processes that bypassed SASSA officials”.'

Read More: https://www.groundup.org.za/article/dlamini-denies-undermining-sassas-work/

'"Minister‚ do you understand that the failure of the department of not disclosing to the Constitutional Court that it may not meet the deadline creates an impression that SASSA was deceiving the court?" asked Dangor's counsel‚ Vincent Maleka SC. Dlamini told him that she was only made aware that the deadline might be missed in October 2016. The Black Sash Trust ultimately went to the Con Court to inform it that SASSA was facing a crisis – and Maleka questioned Dlamini on why she had failed to do so before the NGO did.'

Read More: https://www.sowetanlive.co.za/news/south-africa/2018-01-26-dlamini-didnt-tell-con-court-of-social-grants-crisis-because-there-was-a-lot-going-on-at-the-time/

"Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini has dismissed her special adviser, Sipho Shezi, who along with other officials had tried to find a way of ensuring the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) could pay social grants without Cash Paymaster Services (CPS). On Tuesday, Shezi confirmed that Dlamini had informed him in a letter on Friday that his services were no longer needed. She did not give him reasons."

Read More: https://www.businesslive.co.za/bd/national/2017-04-11-dlamini-fires-a-special-advisor-who-claims-sassa-crisis-was-self-created/

"Minister of Social Development Bathabile Dlamini told a hearing on Tuesday that she had not known until October 2016 that the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) would not be able to take over the payment of social grants as planned, in spite of a letter written to SASSA’s lawyers warning of this. The five-day inquiry, chaired by retired judge Bernard Ngoepe, began on Monday at the Office of the Chief Justice in Midrand. Geoff Budlender, advocate for Black Sash Trust and Freedom Under Law, questioned Dlamini on the claim she made on Monday that she had only found out in October 2016 that SASSA would not make the deadline of March 2017 to take over the payment of social grants."

Read More: https://www.groundup.org.za/article/dlamini-i-didnt-know-sassa-wouldnt-meet-social-grants/

 "As if the social grants saga was not complicated enough, an expert panel reporting to the Constitutional Court has proposed a late, alternative scheme to deliver social grants.The expert panel, set up in June by the South African Social Security Agency and NGO Black Sash by order of the Constitutional Court, recently submitted its second feedback report on the pending Sassa saga."

Read more: https://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/expert-panel-proposes-alternative-direct-grants-scheme-20171121

"The SA Post Office and civil rights group Black Sash have raised concerns about delays and frustrations caused by the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) in the agency’s process of phasing out the invalid contract of incumbent social grants distributor Cash Paymaster Services (CPS). This has raised fears that SA will face another social grants crisis – under the watch of embattled Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini – as there is less than two months remaining for the Post Office to take over 17-million social grant payments from CPS."

Read More: https://citizen.co.za/business/business-news/1800689/fears-of-another-sassa-crisis-intensify/