Picture: GALLO IMAGES
Picture: GALLO IMAGES

The Black Sash Trust and the Centre for Applied Legal Studies (Cals) have welcomed a Constitutional Court judgment which gives reasons why it extended an invalid contract to allow Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) to pay cash social grants until the end of September.

"We welcome the court’s acknowledgement of the need to protect social-grant beneficiaries‚" said Lynette Maart‚ national director of the Black Sash Trust.

In February‚ the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) approached the court‚ seeking an extension of the CPS contract. Sassa told the court it had not been able to finalise the tender for the supply of a service for cash payments for recipients.

In March‚ the court extended the contract; it gave reasons for its order on Thursday.

The Black Sash Trust and Cals said the court made it clear that the urgency of the application was "self-created" and due to a "lack of diligence on the part of Sassa in relation to its preparation for the transition on payment of social grants".

Maart said the organisations will continue to monitor the payment of beneficiaries during the handover to the South African Post Office and the closure of pay points.

Wandisa Phama‚ an attorney at Cals‚ said the court has played an essential role in the oversight of Sassa. "This is part of ongoing litigation we have instituted in an effort to protect social grants and ensure beneficiaries receive their payments in full and on time."

On Friday‚ social development minister Susan Shabangu will report on the progress made to migrate the grant-payment services from CPS to the Post Office.