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Game of chicken grips Sassa crisis

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Cape Town - The crisis swirling around South Africa’s system of welfare payments to the poorest third of its people has become a game of chicken.

Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini insists that Net1 UEPS Technologies Inc. must continue to distribute the payments after its contract, which the Constitutional Court ruled illegal, expires on March 31. An inter-ministerial task force voided a new agreement between the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) and Net1, and will conduct future talks with the company. Net1 said if no deal is reached by Wednesday, it can’t guarantee resuming payments April 1.

“To avoid interruptions or delays in payment, any agreement would have to be concluded by 15 March 2017 in order to ensure that payment can be made on 1 April 2017,” Net1 said in court papers on Tuesday.

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