Former social development minister Bathabile Dlamini may yet face charges of perjury over the debacle around paying social grants. Picture: THULANI MBELE
Former social development minister Bathabile Dlamini may yet face charges of perjury over the debacle around paying social grants. Picture: THULANI MBELE

SA will no longer have any welfare beneficiaries paid by Net 1 UEPS Technologies next month, bringing to an end a controversial relationship that has seen rights activists accuse the company of taking advantage of the nation’s poorest people and the former social development minister accused of perjury by the country’s top court.

Cash Paymaster Services (CPS), a unit of Net 1, won’t disburse any social grants via the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) in October after tapering down from cash payments to 3.16-million people in April to 221,599 this month, minister of social development Susan Shabangu said in an affidavit to the Constitutional Court.

“Consistent with the court order of March 23 2018, I wish to report that there are no social-grant beneficiaries who will be paid by CPS for the October 2018 payment cycle,” she said. Those who were paid by the company will, instead, be paid by the South African Post Office (Sapo).

Last year, the Constitutional Court ordered the department to comply with an order to find a new distributor for the R150bn-a-year programme that sees one in three South Africans receive payments from the state. CPS’s contract had been declared invalid by the same court in 2014.

On Thursday, Bathabile Dlamini, the former social development minister, was ordered by the court to pay a portion of legal costs. The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) was told to consider whether it should charge Dlamini with perjury because of her statements during last year’s court case, which was brought by rights activists the Black Sash Trust.

Bloomberg