CPS shifts blame over grant payments fiasco

Serge Belamant, chief executive of social grants distributor Cash Paymaster Services’ parent company, Net1, has blamed the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) for irregularities in the proposed extension of the multi-billion rand tender.

In his affidavit filed at the Constitutional Court in response to Black Sash’s bid to ask the country’s highest court to supervise social grants payments after March 31, Belamant insists that CPS is innocent and its reputation is compromised when it is required to conduct business under contracts that have been declared invalid or have been concluded in circumstances that require deviations from prescribed procurement procedures.

Belamant said CPS “is anxious to avoid becoming embroiled in further protracted and costly legal battles as a result of irregularities that are entirely of Sassa’s making”.

While CPS is not opposing Black Sash’s court case, Belamant said the lobby group was seeking unlawful and incompetent demands by asking the apex court to order that the personal information of social grants beneficiaries is Sassa’s property.

According to Belamant, granting such an order would be in contravention of the Protection of Personal Information Act.

Net1, its subsidiary Smart Life Insurance, Finbond Mutual Bank and Information Technology Consultants want the social assistance regulations that bar deductions of more than 10% of the value of a grant declared unlawful.

The cases were heard in October and judgment is pending.