NPO wants more protection for grant beneficiaries

The South African Community Advice Office (Acaosa) has raised their concern over the protection of social grant beneficiaries. The organisation has highlighted that social grant beneficiaries are not completely protected from unauthorised deductions.

Following the Constitutional Court ruling on 17 March that the South African State Security Agency (Sassa) and Cash Payment Service (CPS) can continue to  pay out grant beneficiaries under 12 months contract, Acaosa said more oversight is needed during the duration of the contract.

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The organisation is calling on the Constitutional Court to ensure that its oversight role includes monitoring that the payouts to beneficiaries should be free from unauthorised deductions and their confidential information should be kept away from external users not directly related to the monthly payouts.

“We remain concerned about the lack of protection from illegal deductions from grantee accounts for unauthorised airtime, insurance money and electricity payments,” said Acaosa President Albert Makwela.

“We call on government to ensure that the new contract between Sassa and CPS should protect personal details of the beneficiaries from possible deductions,” Makwela added.

Community Advice Offices (CAO) have reported various illegal deductions from members of their communities seeking support. ACAOSA has therefore support the Black Sash and Freedom Under Law application to ensure that SASSA complies with its constitutional obligations to provide social assistance, under proper lawful manner, and also to protect grant beneficiaries from unlawful deductions of their grants.

Read: Don’t play games with grants

The Sassa and CPS contract was declared invalid by the Constitutional Court in 2014, but was allowed to run till 31 March this year.

Acaosa is a national voice organisation of the Community Advice Offices (CAO) Sector. CAOs are independent non-profit organisations that offer free legal and human rights information, advice and services to people who are marginalized through poverty, social circumstances, and geographical location.

Belinda Pheto

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