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Talks are under way between the Treasury, the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) and the banks on the development of a low-cost banking solution for social grant beneficiaries. Sassa acting CEO Pearl Bhengu said in a report submitted this week to the Constitutional Court that the negotiations with the banks started in December and that the banks had already made proposals, which would be discussed at a further meeting tentatively scheduled for Friday. "Sassa has identified the need for a low-cost bank account that will offer beneficiaries a suite of services at no cost to the beneficiary," she said. Low-cost bank accounts paid via Sassa’s own corporate bank account would be an alternative to the grant payments made by Net1 Technologies subsidiary Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) and Grindrod Bank. Bhengu also told the court that it would be necessary for Sassa to approach the court for a six-month extension of the suspension of the invalidity of Sassa’s contract with CPS unti...

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