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Sassa to appeal ruling on grant deductions

The court says deductions can be made from the bank accounts of social grant beneficiaries if the account holders consent to them.

FILE: A Sassa card. Picture: Supplied.

CAPE TOWN - The South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) says it will be appealing this week's ruling in the High Court which gave the green light for deductions from the bank accounts of social grant beneficiaries.

Sassa says its studied Tuesday’s judgment and intends taking the matter on appeal.

The ruling follows an application by Cash Payment Master services’ parent company Net1 Technologies, which had gone to court for a declaratory order against government's decision to prohibit direct deductions.

Sassa's Kgomotso Diseko says the ruling is a drawback.

“Social grant beneficiaries are suffering from unscrupulous money laundering and service providers who just deduct money willingly, without any authorisation. The court gives them the free will to do what they like.”

On Wednesday, Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini said she was disappointed by the court ruling.

Dlamini said she was open to all state institutions assisting Sassa to be able to pay out social grants - including the Post Office.

“It's not going to take 12 months to bring the whole programme into its totality. Yes, the company that is paying has to go, we agree.”

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