THE BOTTOM LINE
Social grants: Net1 says it’s glad to get out of the mess
But the grim reality is that the woes of the South African Social Security Agency are unlikely to end
Net1 CEO Herman Kotzé says he’s counting the days to September 30 when his company’s contract to distribute social grants finally ends.
And there we were thinking Net1 and its subsidiary Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) were intent on doing anything they could to hold onto that controversial contract. So intent that a number of parliamentary portfolio committees as well as the Constitutional Court had to be dragged in to prise it out of CPS’s hands.The rather grim reality is that the woes of the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) are unlikely to end with the end of CPS’s direct involvement in the social grant contract.
In part this will be CPS’s fault. Despite CPS denials there are widespread and persistent reports that officials of the company are interfering with efforts by Sassa and the South African Post Office (SAPO) to migrate the two million or so grant recipients from CPS to Sassa/SAPO. But it is also down to prolonged poor management at Sassa and the Department of Social Development.
Meanwhile CPS has succeeded in growing the customer base of its Easi-Pay-Everywhere account. Latest estimates are that it has signed on three million customers, many of whom are grant recipients who have switched over to the EPE cards and might now struggle to access the new gold Sassa cards.
Sassa is adamant the old white Sassa cards will be phased out by the end of September and is pushing hard to get recipients to switch to the new ones. But Kotze is equally adamant that the old cards will work for as long as government deposits the grants into the attached accounts.