Sassa can make grant payments without third parties with profit motives: Black Sash
Ernest Mabuza | 2017-03-17 17:10:57.0
The elderly line up for their social grant payments at a SASSA office. File photo
Image by: Gary Horlor
The South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) can fulfil its constitutional mandate to make grant payments nationally‚ without third parties with profit motives‚ the Black Sash said on Friday.
The organisation made this comment following the Constitutional Court judgment on Friday‚ which ensures that there will be no disruption to grant payments on April 1.
The court ordered that Cash Paymaster Services (CPS)‚ performing as an organ of the state‚ continue to pay social grants for the next 12 months.
The court had‚ in 2014‚ declared that the 2012 contract between Sassa and CPS for the payment of grants was invalid.
However‚ the court extended the invalid contract to give Sassa time to open a new tender process for social grant payments.
The court discharged its supervisory role in November 2015 after Sassa informed the court it would not open a new tender and would undertake the payments of grants in-house.
But the Department of Social Development and Sassa only informed the court this month that it would be unable to pay the grants in-house from April 1.
In a statement on Friday‚ the Black Sash said what was important was that the court’s oversight role over CPS’s extended contract with Sassa and the implementation of the grant payment system was reinstated.
The organisation said it was significant that the court said the confidential data of social grant beneficiaries must be protected.
“Today’s ruling affirmed that when the executive (arm) of government fails to perform its constitutional duties‚ the (Constitutional Court) can act decisively to safeguard and guarantee the protection of rights to social security.”
The Black Sash said it remained convinced that it was possible to make grant payments nationally‚ without third parties with profit motives.
“The in-house payment system should create a special and protected Sassa bank account‚ free of deductions‚ including debit orders by third parties.”