Published: Sat, March 18, 2017
Global Media | By Garry Long

South Africa court enforces contract to ensure welfare

South Africa court enforces contract to ensure welfare

(Bloomberg) - South Africa's Constitutional Court ordered the nation's welfare agency to extend Net1 UEPS Technologies Inc.'s contract to distribute grants to more than 17 million beneficiaries for a year to avoid a "potential catastrophe" and slammed the government's handling of the matter. The organisation made this comment following the Constitutional Court judgment which ensures that there will be no disruption to grant payments on April 1.

CPS now charges R16.44 per beneficiary paid, but wanted SASSA to increase this fee and pay it as a lump sum of R4.6 billion over a contract which would last two years.

In doing so, the court maintained its jurisdiction to supervise the matter and suspended the declaration of invalidity pending a decision by Sassa to award a new tender. "And in the deepest and the most shaming of ironies, it now seeks to rely on a private corporate entity with no discernible commitment to transformative empowerment to get it out of this predicament". He said: "The South African government cares for its people and today's ruling is indicative of a progressive democratic nation".

But moments after a judgment was delivered at the Constitutional Court on Friday ordering CPS and Sassa to contract for 12 months, Magwaza accused Belamant of lying.

"The court has basically said the minister and Sassa can not be trusted to do what they are supposed to do and it is going to supervise the process to make sure they do their job in a very hand-on manner", said Pierre de Vos, a law professor at the University of Cape Town.

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On the question of profits from the social grant payment system over the next year, the judges ruled that CPS must file full accounts with SASSA, and SASSA must in turn file these with the National Treasury.

After all, both Dlamini and President Jacob Zuma have repeatedly denied that there is a crisis around Sassa payments.

Minister in the Presidency, Jeff Radebe, expressed Government's appreciation to the apex court.

The Save South Africa organisation was more direct saying "Dlamini should do the right thing for once - she should resign, immediately" but before she goes, she should pay the costs of the process from her own pocket, without belatedly trying to justify her "shocking" conduct. However, he put the blame squarely on Dlamini for the Sassa crisis, as she is the minister accountable to parliament and holds "executive political office".

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