17 March 2017
The Black Sash is elated that the Constitutional Court granted all the requests in our application in today’s unprecedented ruling. We especially welcome the news that there will be no disruption to grant payments on 1 April 2017. Cash Paymaster Service (CPS), performing an organ of the state, will continue to pay social grants for the next 12 months.
Very importantly, the ConCourt’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 that the ConCourt asserted that the confidential data of social grant beneficiaries must be protected.
Today’s ruling affirmed that when the Executive of government fails to perform its constitutional duties, the ConCourt can act decisively to safeguard and guarantee the protection of Section 27 rights, in this case social security. However, the country should not be put into this invidious position ever again.
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. Under the Court’s supervision, SASSA must now ensure that it becomes fit for purpose.
We are still carefully studying the full implications of the judgement and consulting our community and strategic partners and may issue a more comprehensive statement at a later stage.
For further comments please contact:
Thandiwe Zulu (Black Sash Gauteng Regional Manger) - 082 456 2643
Elroy Paulus (Black Sash Advocacy Manager) – 082 748 5621
Lynette Maart (Black Sash National Director) – 083 628 3425
For media related queries please contact:
Esley Philander (Black Sash Communications and Media) – 073 468 2909 / 021 686 6952