It looks like a case of "one man’s meat is another man’s poison". Last week, Net1 executives told analysts listening in to a teleconference that the 7% hike in revenue from its South African operations during the December quarter was underpinned by increased EasyPay Everywhere (EPE) transaction revenue. CEO Herman Kotze talked about how the roll-out of 500 additional portable enrolment workstations along with a "roving sales force" helped lift EPE account numbers. Additional good news, for Net1 shareholders, is that demand for the low-cost EPE bank accounts increased and there has also been a "meaningful increase" in the company’s loan book. While this might have been meaty stuff for Net1 shareholders, the expert panel appointed by the Constitutional Court seemed to regard it as particularly poisonous. In its latest report, released a week or so before the Net1 results, the panel referred to the number of social grant beneficiaries with EPE accounts passing the 2-million mark in Dec...

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