New grants contract agreed on: report

The South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) and Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) have agreed to a new two-year contract, to deliver social grants to over 17 million South Africans,  according to a report by Business Day.

According to Net1 CEO Serge Belamant, the contract will still need to be finalised and given the go-ahead by the Treasury although he was confident the deal would go through. He also emphasised that the agreed upon fee would be lower than R25 per person as was previously reported upon by the media.

Speaking at a Sassa briefing on Sunday (5 March) minister of social development, Bathabile Dlamini, also confirmed that grants would be paid out upon the expiration of the current contract on 1 April and that negotiations with Net1 were currently underway.

The minister had come under heavy criticism over the past month when she confirmed that there was currently no programme in place to deliver social grants in South Africa upon the current expiration of the Net1 contract.

This follows a 2014 Constitutional court judgement which stated that CPS could not continue to provide Sassa with social services, after it emerged that the tender had been awarded by Sassa without following correct procedures.

There is currently no official explanation as to how Sassa circumvented the Constitutional court decision, the legality of the CPS contract (should it go ahead) or why Sassa could not find another suitable candidate in the allotted time.

There’s no plan in place to pay 17 million social grants on 1 April: Sassa

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New grants contract agreed on: report