In a judgment handed down on February 23, 2018, the Constitutional Court ruled that the Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) is not prohibited from tendering for future work issued by the South Africa Social Security agency (Sassa).
In a short press statement by Burson-Marsteller, the communications agency for CPS, it was reiterated that the Constitutional Court had clarified this issue “following a lengthy period of speculation around Cash Paymaster’s eligibility to tender for the Sassa contract”.
Burston-Masteller told The Citizen that their client, CPS, would not be giving any more media comment on the issue.
In a judgment that went against the respondents, Sassa, the minister of social development, the minister of finance, National Treasury, Information Regulator and other amicus curiae, the Constitutional Court considered the urgent interlocutory application brought by Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) on February 7, 2018.
“In view of the fact that CPS’s eligibility to take part in future tender processes was not in issue in the application in which judgment was handed down in this Court on 17 March 2017, and the judgement did not purport to deal with that issue, the following order is made:
“It is declared that the applicant, CPS, is not prohibited by this Court judgtement and order of 17 March 2017, from participating in the tender for the provision of cash payment services or social assistance (SASSA 15/17/SP/HO) issued by the South African Social Security Agency SASSA,” the judgment reads.
Meanwhile, Advocate Melville, an independent adjudicator appointed by CPS to “provide an additional level of assurance to Net1’s Complaints Management Process” and “upon request provide advice or non-binding opinions as to how particular complaints should be addressed”, released a report in November 2017 stating that “reports in the media of grant beneficiaries being targeted by fraudsters” was “sadly such a case”.
In one complaint, a “complainant was alone when he was making the transactions back in September, 2017. He claimed to have been approached by an unknown male who offered to assist him to use the ATM but declined the offer. He then took his card back and left the ATM to proceed to a supermarket to attempt another withdrawal and this is when the cashier advised him that his card was switched”.
“It is not clear when the card was swapped, but the irresistible inference is that the ‘Good Samaritan’ who offered assistance at the ATM did so by sleight of hand. As a result, the beneficiary lost his entire grant of R1 650,” Melville wrote.
Melville also notified the company that he would resume his work only in December 2017 once had attended a workshop on the future of the ombud system hosted by National Treasury.