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FUL: Nicole Fritz comment on SASSA judgment

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FUL: Nicole Fritz comment on SASSA judgment

17th March 2017

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Freedom Under Law: Black Sash Trust and Freedom Under Law v Minister of Social Development & Others

Freedom Under Law (FUL) welcomes the ruling by the Constitutional Court in the matter of Black Sash Trust and Freedom Under Law v Minister of Social Development & Others. The Constitutional Court made orders in line with the relief sought by FUL, namely that:

  • The extension of the contract between Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) and the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) be subject to the condition that CPS receive no more in payment for its services than it does under the existing invalid contract which ends on 31 March 2017;
  • That there be strict independent supervision of the contract going forward and of the planning by SASSA to ensure payment of social grants after the 12-month extension period; and

 

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  • That the contract be extended only for a duration of 12-months so as to allow for a competitive bidding process for the  award of a lawful contract for social grant payments.

FUL also notes the serious concern registered by the Court at the extent to which the Minister of Social Development and SASSA have placed a cornerstone of our constitutional democracy, the right to social assistance, in jeopardy, reflected in the Court’s requirement that the Minister show cause why she should not personally pay the costs of the application.

In handing down its judgment and in crafting so detailed an order, subjecting the ongoing process of social grant payment to rigorous oversight and in so doing effectively quelling the anxiety that millions of grant recipients must have felt, the Constitutional Court has again shown us today why it is rightly to be regarded as the “upper guardian” of our Constitution.

 

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