The portfolio committee on social development has in principle rejected the extension of the Cash Paymaster Services’ (CPS) Sassa contract beyond April 1, when it is due to expire. The South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) has applied to the Constitutional Court for a six-month extension of the contract so that social grants beneficiaries can be paid in cash at paypoints. Cash payments are needed for about 2.5-million grant beneficiaries. This is not something the agency will have organised by end-March. Business Day has also reported that CPS, a subsidiary of Net1, will be required to provide back-end banking systems for the entire social grant distribution process at least until the end of September. Sassa acting CEO Pearl Bhengu told the committee on Wednesday that Sassa wanted to extend the contract in order to provide "back-up" should there be problems with the new payment system. She briefed the committee on progress made in implementing the Constitutional Court order o...

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