CPS says no grants beneficiaries will be ‘prejudiced’
Ernest Mabuza | 2017-03-28 10:53:54.0
CPS Chief Executive Officer Serge Belamant
Image by: KEVIN SUTHERLAND / SUNDAY TIMES
Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) has given assurances to the public that payments will be made to 10.5 million eligible grant recipients on April 1.
CPS also said that no beneficiaries would be “prejudiced”‚ a legal expression meaning disadvantaged. The company has been accused of passing on beneficiaries’ personal information to other companies owned by its parent company‚ offering them airtime‚ electricity‚ microloans‚ and insurance.
“As at (Monday)‚ day 7 of the 12 days required to process the payments‚ CPS is on track with this commitment. The Constitutional Court ruled (March 17‚ 2017) that CPS’s contract for the issuing of social grants will be renewed for a further 12 months‚” the company said in a statement issued on Monday night.
It said the bank accounts of all eligible grant recipients would be credited on April 1.
“Grant recipients will be able to access their grants through the same channels that have been available to them during the last five years. ATMs and the retail infrastructure will be available on the 1st April.”
The company said grant recipients who choose to make use of the pay-point infrastructure would be able to access their grants in accordance with the dates provided to them during the March 2017 payment cycle.
The company was ordered to process grant payments for the next 12 months following a Constitutional Court judgment two weeks ago. This came as a result of the failure by the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) to pay recipients on its own‚ as it had promised the court in 2015.
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.
Two weeks ago‚ the Constitutional Court ordered that CPS‚ performing as an organ of the state‚ continue to pay social grants for the next 12 months.
CPS said it had engaged with Sassa over the last 12 months‚ with the intent of demonstrating the urgency‚ complexity and time frame required for Sassa or a new service provider to take over from CPS.
“(Parent company) Net1 and CPS remain fully committed to assist the Government and Sassa to ensure that no grant beneficiaries are prejudiced.”