One of the spin-offs of the relationship between Sassa, Net1 and its subsidiary, Cash Paymaster Services, has been the easy and lucrative access the US-listed company has had to some 17-million South Africans who receive social grants. Net1 subsidiary, Moneyline, offers grant recipients loans, often without requesting proof of income and on condition that they open an EasyPay Everywhere Account and use this card instead of the Sassa card.

The relationship between CPS and Sassa, the government agency tasked with distributing social grants worth a massive R10-billion a month to some 17-million beneficiaries, has been contentious and problematic ever since 2012 when CPS was originally awarded the tender, later ruled irregular by the Constitutional Court.

Regardless of the ongoing controversy, former Minister of Social Development, Bathabile Dlamini, as well as her allies in Sassa, appeared determined, at all costs – including ignoring a directive to report on progress to the Constitutional Court – to keep Net1/CPS tightly in the fold.  When allegations had initially surfaced that Net1 and its subsidiaries were implicated in possible reckless lending or making illegal deductions from grant recipient accounts, the company contracted auditing giant KPMG to conduct an “independent” investigation.  Somewhat unsurprisingly, KMPG also just happened to be Net1’s internal auditors, tainting the firms’s apparent “independent” nature of its external investigation.

“If and when the Sassa contract with CPS comes to an end, Net1 will have access to Sassa grant beneficiaries’ through their EPE cards,”

Readers of this shocking article, based on the survey results produced by Summit Financial Partners, will want to know if ex-minister Bathabile Dlamini received any benefit from this ongoing support for Net1.

Read the full article here.