How to fix the utterly vital social grant system (according to Black Sash)

Bathabile Dlamini behaved disgracefully and has brought South Africa to the brink of disaster.

Bruce Whitfield, The Money Show

The Constitutional Court's decision extending the suspension of invalidity on the contract between the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) and Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) ends on 31 March 2018.

For SASSA to meet its legal obligations, it needs an alternative grant payment system and, in the interim, a new service provider.

However, since the Constitutional Court judgment on 17 March 2017, there has been no progress.

So said Black Sash National Director Lynette Maart on Wednesday.

Maart warned, “We do not want a repeat of the past where profit is the sole motive of the service provider and grant beneficiaries’ constitutional right to social security and social assistance is violated.”

To fix the integrity of the social grant system the Black Sash suggests the following:

  • The personal confidential data collected during the social grant registration process must be protected and used only for the payment of grants. It should not be used for the marketing and sales of financial and other services. This protection should also include the bank cards issued to grant beneficiaries, the machines reading these cards and the control of access to confidential data.

  • The bank accounts of grant beneficiaries must be ring-fenced and protected from debit orders and unauthorised, fraudulent and unlawful deductions. Child support grants and temporary grants need particular protection.

  • The new bank account should not charge transaction costs for cash withdrawals from ATMs, and grant beneficiaries should receive at least one free bank statement a month.

  • Grant beneficiaries must be able to navigate the recourse system independently, with no cost which is currently almost impossible.

The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviewed Maart.

Listen to the interview in the audio below (apologies; the sound quality is poor).

Click here (then “like” the page) to follow Bruce on Facebook.

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