Sassa withdraws ConCourt application

2017-03-01 10:45


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Cape Town - The South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) has withdrawn its request to the Constitutional Court for advice over what to do about its contract with Cash Paymaster Services, a spokesperson for the court said on Wednesday.

This is less than 24 hours after it filed the notice, at 17:00 on Tuesday, asking for help from the highest court in the country, as the reality of not being able to pay 17 million people their social grants nears.

"Yes, it has been withdrawn,'' said Constitutional Court spokesperson Nathi Mncube.

An application by The Black Sash to keep outgoing payment contractor CPS in place for a while after its contract ends, just to make sure recipients get their money at the end of March, still stands, and has been sent to the judges for a decision.

The human rights group also indicated its intention to lodge an application with the same court in a bid to compel Sassa and Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini to make sure that grant beneficiaries would still be protected come March 31.

"The Black Sash Trust, therefore, is asking the court to ensure that the continued relationship with CPS is based on terms not harmful to, exploitative of, the grant system, its beneficiaries; the personal data of beneficiaries is owned by Sassa; and such data is kept confidential and not used for marketing purposes targeting grant beneficiaries," it said in a statement.

Parliament is currently conducting hearings on the impending disaster, which comes after years of controversy over the awarding of the contract and alleged abuse of grant recipients' money by microlenders and funeral policy companies associated with CPS.

Sassa does not have an alternative arrangement in place once the CPS's contract lapses at the end of March. The Black Sash has repeatedly raised concerns about the contract, but with a month to go, there is no clear alternative available.

Read more on:    sassa  |  black sash

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