South Africa


CPS must pay Sassa R316m after ConCourt dismisses appeal

CPS must pay Sassa R316m after ConCourt dismisses appeal
(Photos: / South African currency / AdobeStock)

Cash Paymaster Services will have to repay R316m after the Constitutional Court dismissed the company’s application for leave to appeal a previous judgment. Finally, the company will have to repay some of the proceeds it received from its extended contract to deliver social grants.

The Constitutional Court has rejected Cash Paymaster Services’ (CPS) application for leave to appeal a Supreme Court of Appeals (SCA) judgment over its handling of social grants, meaning it must repay the government R316-million. 

CPS, which controversially was contracted by the department of social development to deliver SA Social Security (Sassa) grants, tried to appeal a judgment that said it overcharged on its contract by invoicing Sassa extra for registering children.

Corruption Watch originally brought the case against CPS and won in the High Court before defeating CPS’s appeal in the SCA and ultimately the Constitutional Court.

Corruption Watch executive director David Lewis said, “While we are obviously delighted at the decision of the Constitutional Court and now expect Sassa to immediately secure the approximately R500-million owed to it by CPS, the full story of the CPS/Sassa saga will not be told until the law enforcement authorities investigate the relationship between, on the one hand, key individuals in Sassa and the ministry of social development, and, on the other hand, senior management of CPS. These illegal payments were not made in error.”

Lewis was referring to the reported amount CPS still owes Sassa. 

CPS, which is a subsidiary of Nasdaq-listed Net1 UEPS Technologies, scored billions from Sassa, even after the Constitutional Court ordered the organisation to stop outsourcing the payments of almost 20 million social grants every month.

While the court found against CPS for overcharging for the registration as Sassa beneficiaries, questions continue to be raised as to why and how the department of social development retained their services for so long at what was said to be exorbitant costs.

“We call on the Hawks to reopen an investigation into the past relationship between CPS, the ministry and Sassa, and to bring to justice those individuals who profited from the illegal payments,” said Lewis. 

The SA Post Office has since taken over the delivery of social grants while civil society and the courts continue to investigate the CPS payments. DM


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