New welfare system for SA by 2019

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Cape Town - South Africa plans to bring in a new welfare-payments system over the next two years and hasn’t yet signed a new interim contract with Net 1 UEPS Technologies, the government said.

Cash Paymaster Services, a unit of Net 1, will continue making payments while new social-grants arrangements are implemented, Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini told reporters in Pretoria on Sunday. The welfare department is still negotiating a new deal with the company, whose existing disbursement contract ends on March 31, according to Dumisile Ndlovu, the department’s acting executive manager for corporate services.

The department and South African Social Security Agency, or Sassa, are scrambling to ensure more than 17 million people continue to get their money next month. The payments of more than R140bn a year are a signature policy of the ANC, which says the grants are an important measure to reduce inequality in the nation almost 23 years after the end of white-minority rule. In previous election campaigns, ANC officials have told rallies that if another party came to power, the payments may end.

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