Panel concerned CPS unduly profiting from paying social grants

The expert panel says that unless sassa and Sapo come up with better contingency plans to mitigate the problems it's been having with paying beneficiaries, it may have to continue to rely on CPS.

FILE: New Sassa cards. Picture: OfficialSASSA/Twitter

CAPE TOWN - The panel overseeing the transition of social grant payments says it is concerned that Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) is unduly profiting from its services.

But CPS parent company Net1 has refused to open its books to the panel.

The Constitutional Court has ordered the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) to end its contract with CPS by the end of September, but in its latest report to the court, the expert panel says it's concerned that a lack of planning by Sassa and the Post Office, could result in having to extend the contract with CPS, once again.

The expert panel says that unless the Social Security Agency and the Post Office come up with better contingency plans to mitigate the problems it's been having with paying beneficiaries, it may have to continue to rely on CPS.

But the panel wants to know how much Net 1 is earning from the monthly fee charged to Grindrod Bank, for the use of the old Sassa cards.

It also wants to know what profit the company is making from fees charged to beneficiaries for ATM withdrawals and the costs incurred by CPS for paying grants in cash.

But Net1 is refusing to provide the details.

It says it's not party to the court proceedings and that the request falls outside the panel's mandate.

The panel now wants the court to instruct Net1 to provide it with the figures.

It says it believes Treasury has been constrained in determining an appropriate fee for the cash payments, because CPS won't play open cards.