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Constitutional Court extends controversial CPS contract by a year

Constitutional Court extends controversial CPS contract by a year

Around 17 million South African, who rely on government’s social grants every month, can breathe a sigh of relief after the Constitutional Court of South Africa on Friday morning extended the controversial contract between the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) and Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) by a year.

In reading out the ruling, Justice Johan Froneman highlighted the importance of social grants for South Africans.

The intervention comes after rights group, Black Sash, made an urgent application to the courts asking that they play an oversighting role on the social grants crisis.

“Our order is that SASSA and CPS continue its invalid contract for a period of 12 months,” said Froneman.

He said that SASSA and CPS have the constitutional obligation of ensuring grant payments, and that CPS is to provide detailed accounts of their finances to which SASSA must appoint auditors to.

Social Development Minister, Bathabile Dlamini, and SASSA were also told to provide reports every three months with strict instructions on what they must contain.

Despite assurances from government, there had widespread uncertainty on whether government would be able to disburse the grants on the 1st of April, when the CPS contract would expire.

However, the Department of Social Development, despite assurances by Minister Dlamini last year, had not managed to find another contractor, since the CPS contract itself had been ruled void in 2014 by the same court.