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Net1 subsidiary goes to court to compel Sassa to pay grants into its accounts

The battle by companies to profit from social grants rages on with another round of court action, this time between the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) and another Net1 subsidiary, which will be heard on Wednesday.

The Net1 subsidiary, Moneyline Financial Services, is asking the high court in Pretoria to compel Sassa to accept the consent forms — confirming bank accounts in which the social grants should be paid into — of beneficiaries through Cash Paymaster Services (CPS).

Moneyline, the sister company to CPS, has asked the court for an interdict prohibiting Sassa from stopping the payment of social grants into Easy Pay Everywhere (EPE) accounts, which are administered by Moneyline.

The Net1 subsidiary’s director, Nunthakumarin Pillay, says in his affidavit that hundreds of thousands of social grant beneficiaries had opted to receive their social assistance in EPE accounts, which are held with Grindrod Bank, but Sassa officials have failed to process the forms. This has led the agency to move beneficiaries to bank accounts with the South African Post Office (Sapo).

But Sassa’s acting chief executive officer, Abraham Mahlangu, argues that Moneyline is only bringing the application out of its own financial interest and does not care about the beneficiaries.

Mahlangu has also argued that CPS was meant to protect the information of beneficiaries — even from its own sister company — and now Moneyline’s use of this information is in breach of that agreement.

Pillay lays out that the EPE card programme was launched in May 2015.

“The EPE card programme competes with other low-cost bank account offerings, including the recently-introduced low-cost bank account offered to social grant beneficiaries by Sapo. Despite growth in the opening of EPE accounts by social grant beneficiaries, the number of payments has been dropping each month since July 2018,” said Pillay in his affidavit.

READ MORE: How Sassa paid R316-million to a contractor based on a ‘lie’

He claims that, in July, about 2.2-million EPE accounts received payments of social grants from Sassa. By the end of October, Sassa paid about 1.3-million 

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Athandiwe Saba
Athandiwe Saba

Athandiwe Saba is a multi award-winning journalist who is passionate about data, human interest issues, governance and everything that isn’t on social media. She is an author, an avid reader and trying to find the answer to the perfect balance between investigative journalism, online audiences and the decline in newspaper sales. It’s a rough world and a rewarding profession.

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