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The Cabinet has approved the establishment of a ministerial task team to investigate the social grants crisis, which is awaiting the outcome of a Constitutional Court judgement to determine the way forward. The crisis was precipitated by the failure of the Department of Social Development and the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) to develop an alternative method of paying R11bn in grants monthly to about 17-million beneficiaries when the current contract with Net1 subsidiary Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) — declared invalid by the Constitutional Court in 2014 — expires on March 31. The decision to establish a task team was taken at a special meeting of a cabinet sub committee last week. Three meetings have already been held. The task team decided immediately at its first meeting on Thursday that the talks taking place at the time between Sassa and CPS had to be halted immediately. This was on the basis of legal advice that it was necessary to first obtain approval for the ...

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