Black Sash Media Statements

Leave to appeal social grant deductions case refused

20 June 2017

Today the Black Sash Trust and social grant beneficiaries, represented by the Centre for Applied Legal Studies, argued for leave to appeal an earlier decision by the North Gauteng High Court. The decision, handed down on 9 May 2017, concerned an application brought by Net1 and some of its affiliate companies Moneyline, Manje Mobile, SmartLife and Finbond against the Minister of Social Development and SASSA. The application sought to challenge the interpretation of new regulations issued by the Minister aimed at limiting deductions from social grants.

Black Sash and the grant beneficiaries sought to intervene in the application to ensure beneficiaries are protected and to maintain the integrity of the social assistance system. We asked the Court, if it found in favour of Net1 on their interpretation of the regulations, to order that the Minister issue new regulations which do protect grant beneficiaries. The Court granted the application in favour of Net1 and dismissed the application by the Black Sash and grant beneficiaries.

SASSA, the Minister of Social Development and Black Sash later sought leave to appeal this judgment believing that the Court’s decision left grant beneficiaries vulnerable. The leave to appeal application was heard today and was refused. In refusing the application, the Court found that there is no distinction between social grant beneficiaries’ accounts held at Grindrod Bank and any other bank account held at another bank; and that the regulations do not operate to restrict beneficiaries in the operation of their bank account.

“We are disappointed by today’s outcome, especially given the Constitutional Court’s March decision which recognised that grant beneficiaries’ accounts do require special protection,” says Lynette Maart, National Director of the Black Sash Trust. “We remain committed to protecting grant beneficiaries from exploitation and unlawful deductions from their social grants.”

For interviews please contact:

The Centre for Applied Legal Studies
Bonita Meyersfeld

Director, Centre for Applied Legal Studies

076 755 0257 / 011 717 86
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Nomonde Nyembe

Attorney, Centre for Applied Legal Studies

011 717 8606

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