By Esley Philander, Black Sash communications and media
The Black Sash is elated that the Constitutional Court granted all the requests in our application in Friday’s unprecedented ruling. We especially welcome the news that there will be no disruption to grant payments on April 1. Cash Paymaster Service (CPS), performing as an organ of the state, will continue to pay social grants for the next 12 months.
Very importantly, the Constitutional Court’s oversight over CPS’s extended contract with the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) and the implementation of the grant payment system was reinstated. Also significant is the top court asserted the confidential data of social grant beneficiaries must be protected.
The ruling affirmed when the executive of government fails to perform its constitutional duties, the Constitutional Court can act to safeguard and guarantee the protection of Section 27 rights, in this case social security.
We remain convinced that Sassa must fulfil its constitutional mandate to make grant payments nationally, without third parties with profit motives. The in-house payment system should create a special and protected Sassa bank account, free of deductions, including debit orders by third parties. Sassa must now ensure that it becomes fit for purpose.
Published in Business Day Live