Social grants: CPS must supply Sassa auditors with its financial statements, ConCourt rules

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The ConCourt has made a ruling in the high-profile CPS-Sassa case.
The ConCourt has made a ruling in the high-profile CPS-Sassa case.
  • The Constitutional Court ordered Cash Paymaster Services to furnish Sassa auditors with documents to verify how much profit was made. 
  • Freedom Under Law brought an application for an order that profit made throughout the contract between Sassa and CPS be audited and verified afresh.
  • The application was unopposed.

Cash Paymaster Services (CPS), the company formerly contracted by the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) to pay grants, has been ordered to comply with a March 2017 ruling to supply Sassa auditors with all necessary documents to verify how much profit was made.

The Constitutional Court delivered the ruling on Thursday in favour of civil society organisation Freedom Under Law (FUL).

FUL brought an application for an order that the profits made over the duration of the social grants contract be audited and verified afresh.

The court previously ruled that CPS had no right to benefit from an "unlawful" contract.

In March 2017, the Constitutional Court ordered Sassa and CPS to continue paying social grants for 12 months.

The court also ordered CPS to furnish an audited statement of expenses incurred, the income received, and the net profit earned.  

READ | Sassa debacle: FUL heads to court over CPS profits

The court further ordered CPS to allow Sassa auditors, Rain Chartered Accountants (Rain), free access to its financial statements for a verification report to be submitted to National Treasury.

FUL approached the court seeking an order compelling proper compliance with the 2017 ruling.  

It alleged that CPS did not allow Sassa auditors free access to its financial statements.

The organisation also said Sassa auditors estimated that CPS might have under-declared its profits by approximately R800 million - bringing its profit to more than a billion rand. 

The application was unopposed. 

In a statement, FUL CEO Nicole Fritz welcomed the order, saying the application was "necessary because the court's original auditing and verification, ordered at the time of the social grants crisis, was not properly complied with".

"In terms of today's judgment, Sassa's auditors are to be provided with outstanding documentation by CPS's auditors so that an updated verification report can be submitted to Treasury. If Treasury does not approve the updated verification report, it must make its own determination of the profits earned by CPS or explain to the court what further processes are required to determine the profit. 

ALSO READ | 7 hard-hitting ConCourt quotes on Sassa debacle

"The court deferred FUL's application for an order for repayment of profits to SASSA, holding that 'it would be proper to consider the issue of profits once all the necessary information is placed before this Court'." 

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