Timeline of Events in #HandsOffOurGrants Campaign


Timeline of Events

29 January 2018

SASSA's report on how social grants will be paid creates more confusion than clarity. SASSA and GCIS are urged to modify the Communication and Marketing Plan to help beneficiaries better understand the implications of the payment options and transition processes.
[Media Statement]
19 January 2018

Constitutional Court has a mandated enquiry into the Minister of Social Developments’ personal liability, set to take place from Monday 22 to Friday 26 January 2018
[Media Statement]
13 December 2017

Concerns that 'hybrid' model options proposed by SASSA remain unclear and could cause further delays, even possibly resulting in the extension of the current CPS SASSA contract.
[Media Statement]
22 November 2017

IMC report on fixing the social grant crisis lacks significant details.
[Media Statement]
20 November 2017

Auditor-General and Panel of Experts provide second report to Constitutional Court
[Download Report]
19 November 2017

An independent report disputes cash paymaster services claim that they have disclosed full extent of their profit.
[Media Statement]
8 November 2017

Black sash urges the IMC to fast-track SASSA, SAPO deal and requests concrete results by 21 November 2017
[Media Statement]
7 November 2017

Constitutional Court orders SASSA to reveal social grants payment plan
[Court Document]
2 November 2017

The Black Sash and CALS are encouraged by the joint initiative of Parliament’s Standing Committee on Public Accounts (SCOPA) and the Portfolio Committee on Social Development to keep the talks active between the Minister of Social Development, SASSA and the South African Post Office.
[Media Statement]
5 September 2017

Corruption Watch, Black Sash and Equal Education file a complaint with the Compliance Advisor/Ombudsman of the International Finance Corporation regarding the circumstances under which the IFC made a combined equity investment of $107-million in Net1 UEPS Technologies Inc. (Net1) and its subsidiary, Cash Paymaster Services (Pty) Ltd (CPS).
[Media Statement]
4 August 2017

The Constitutional Court makes a new order in the matter brought by the Centre for Applied Legal Studies (CALS) on behalf of the Black Sash Trust against SASSA, the Minister of Social Development and Cash Paymaster Services. The Court also declares that there should be a further inquiry into Minister Bathabile Dlamini’s personal liability for the social grant crisis earlier this year.
[Media Statement on Concourt Order on Social Grant Enquiry]
[Media Statement on Section 38 Enquiry]
25 July 2017

Black Sash Trust and six social grant beneficiaries, represented by the Centre for Applied Legal Studies, launches an application for leave to appeal with the Supreme Court of Appeal concerning an application brought by Net1 and some of its subsidiaries.
[Media Statement]
20 June 2017

Black Sash Trust and social grant beneficiaries argue for leave to appeal an earlier decision by the North Gauteng High Court on an application brought by Net1 and some of its affiliate companies against the Minister of Social Development and SASSA.
[Media Statement]
15 June 2017

The Court orders that Minister Bathabile Dlamini be joined to the matter in her personal capacity, but does not rule on whether she should be personally liable for the costs of the application.
[Media Statement]
31 May 2017

CPS’ profits, of R1,1 billion before tax, was revealed in an audited statement filed in compliance with a Constitutional Court order made in the AllPay 2 judgment handed down in 2014.
[Media Statement]
9 May 2017

In what the Black Sash describes as a “hollow victory for Net 1 and its subsidiaries”, the court rules in favour of Net1. The ruling allows for deductions from social grants to continue.
17 March 2017

The ConCourt rules that the 'invalid' contract of Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) to pay SASSA grants will be extended for a period of 12 months under the same terms and conditions and with strict supervision, meaning that there would be no disruption to grant payments on April 1st.
[Media Statement]
28 Feb 2017

The Centre for Applied Legal Studies, on behalf of the Black Sash Trust, launches an application to the Constitutional Court, asking the Court to compel the Minister of Social Development and SASSA to take necessary measures to ensure that the social grants system and its beneficiaries are protected when the contract between SASSA and Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) comes to an end on 31 March 2017.
[Media Statement]
2 February 2017

“Who is ultimately responsible for holding the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) accountable?”
[Media Statement]
30 November 2016

SASSA and the DSD assure Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Social Development that grant beneficiaries will continue to be paid from the 1st of April 2017, despite the current Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) SASSA contract expiring at the end of March 2017.
[Media Statement]
24 November 2016

“Who will be responsible for making social grant payments from 1 April 2017 and will the grants be paid at all?”
[Media Release]
13 October 2016

Black Sash issues a Call to Action, inviting participants to endorse and support the Hands off our grants protests on the 17-18th October 2016 -the day of the Court hearings in the Pretoria High court.
[Media Statement: Call to Action]
[Media Statement: Silent Protest]
12 October 2016

The Black Sash, civil society partners, and grant beneficiaries, host a service at St. George’s Cathedral, Cape Town, which is followed by a Silent Stand on the steps.
[Media Release]
6 October 2016

Black Sash draws up a ‘Hands off Our Grants’ Petition aimed at Minister of Social Development, SASSA, Net 1, Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) and Grindrod Bank.
[Media Release]
6 May 2016

On 5 October 2015, two funeral insurers, Channel Life Limited and Sanlam Developing Markets Limited, made an urgent application to the North Gauteng High Court to interdict SASSA from implementing the funeral clean-up project. On 6th May 2016, The Black Sash Trust makes an application to be admitted in the matter as amicus curiae with the Centre for Applied Legal Studies (CALS) as their legal representatives.
[Media Release]
06 May 2016

A Media Statement is issued by the Minister of Social Development, Bathabile Dlamini, on unauthorised grant deductions.
[Media Statement]
15 March 2016

Black Sash submission on the protection of social grants from unlawful deductions
[Read the Submission]
15-16 October 2015

The Black Sash, community and strategic partners staged three mass silent protests with approximately 1300 present. Memorandums were handed to DSD or SASSA officials for the attention of Minister Dlamini.
[Media Statement]
[Call to Action]
20 July 2015

The Black Sash initiates the Speak Out strategy in Franschoek, Western Cape as part of the build-up to planned mass action in October 2015. This is followed by various other Speak Outs in the Western Cape including in Genadendal and Botrivier.
19 March 2015

The Constitutional Court acts decisively to birth new SASSA tender.
[Media Statement]
13 March 2015

The Black Sash is admitted as Amicus Curiae (Friend of the court) by the Concourt and seeks swift resolution of the new tender process in the interest of grant beneficiaries.
[Media Release]
1 March 2015

Special Assignment (SABC 3) screens Grant Grabs, a documentary exposing unlawful and fraudulent deductions from hundreds of pensioners and other social grant beneficiaries' accounts.
[View the Documentary]
28 October 2014

The Black Sash and strategic partners attend the SASSA Bid briefing meeting in Pretoria to appoint a new service provider for the administration of social grants nationally. The RFP reflected the Ministerial Task Team recommendations to protect the bank accounts of social grant beneficiaries/ recipients from EFT debit deductions on behalf of third party creditors
11 September 2014

Department of Social Development Minister Dlamini makes a statement in which she accepts all the recommendations by the Task Team, and advises how the Department will work to resolve the various issues.
[Media Statement]
27 August 2014

Findings and recommendations on the MTT's work thus far, made in a comprehensive report and presentation to Minister of Social Development, Bathabile Dlamini, at Parliament.
7 & 14 July 2014

The Ministerial Task Team meets twice again in July 2014. It also holds meetings with the National Treasury and the National Credit Regulator.
28 May 2014

Black Sash sends a letter to SASSA, making objections explicit which include:
  • no provisions made for illiterate beneficiaries,
  • toll free numbers are often not functional,
  • grant beneficiaries carry the cost of making the calls from cell phones, and
  • turn-around times are not clearly spelled out for recourse to be actioned.
Furthermore, the recourse system is completely reliant on CPS, with little or no intervention from SASSA, to arbitrate disputes between other NET1 subsidiaries and grant beneficiaries.
12 May 2014

A meeting is held with the Task Team where SASSA presents their proposed recourse options for grant beneficiaries. These recourse options were unclear, problematic and highly inadequate.
29 April 2014

Ministerial task team meeting with the South African Reserve Bank to explore ways to stop unlawful, undocumented and unauthorised debit deductions from the bank accounts of SASSA beneficiaries.
17 April 2014

Constitutional court orders a new tender process in the case between allpay vs sassa and cash pay masters.
[Media Release]
11 February 2014

The Black Sash made a Submission to the Portfolio Committee for Trade and Industry on the National Credit Amendment Bill. Key recommendations in our submission included the request to prevent the grant amount received from government to be considered as collateral for loans (that were unlawful), and also to criminalise lenders who then encumber these grants as collateral.
[Read the Submission]
February 2014

In February, Black Sash and partners met with Social Development Minister Dlamini to discuss the crisis around unlawful debit deductions from grants.
[View our Presentation]
29 January 2014

The Black Sash, along with partner organisations and supporters of the STOP SASSA-CPS DEBITS CAMPAIGN, meets with government officials to register the extent and impact of the crisis facing millions of SASSA beneficiaries and their households.
[Media Release]
29 November 2013

In the case of the AllPay Consolidated Investment Holdings (Pty) Ltd and Others vs Chief Executive Officer of the South African Social Security Agency and Others, the Constitutional Court rules the CPS/ SASSA tender constitutionally invalid.
21 November 2013

Black Sash warns against the erosion of the social grant system, in a media release titled “Closing Pandora’s Box”.
[Media Release]
18 November 2013

Meeting convened between the Black Sash, the LRC and CPS/NET1, to gather information on the direct debits to social grants.
4 November 2013

An urgent request is sent to the Reserve Bank of South Africa to act in the public interest and issue a written directive in terms of Section 12 of the National Payment Systems Act (1998) to demand that Payments Association of South Africa (PASA), BankServ and Grindrod immediately refrain from implementing debits from the bank accounts into which social grants are paid by Cash Paymaster Services. A letter is also sent to the Department of Social Development with a request that it take steps to prevent Cash Paymaster Services and Grindrod Bank from processing debit deductions from the accounts of grant beneficiaries.
October 2013

Black Sash launches the "Stop SASSA-CPS Debits Campaign" and seeks support from a range of strategic partners.
19 June 2013

Meeting with SASSA CEO and the Legal Resources Centre (LRC) to discuss the large scale, unprecedented deductions from social grants by money lenders as well CPS’s practice of selling airtime to grant beneficiaries. SASSA undertakes to address these concerns and close the loopholes in the existing service level agreement.
October 2012

Black Sash, in collaboration with a range of partners, starts a process of collecting evidence of debit deductions from SASSA grant beneficiaries using a standard questionnaire template. The evidence shows “loan” deductions from a large variety of micro-lenders (Including companies affiliated to Net1-CPS) being made from social grants -many of the loans were not authorised, as required by law.
April 2012 - 2013

A flyer titled “You and Your Rights: Lawful Deductions from your Grants”, developed in workshops with our partners (including advice offices), is widely distributed.
18 August 2011

A letter sent from the Black Sash to SASSA CEO, Ms Virginia Petersen, expressing concern about the “imminent renewal of SLAs and the new tender process”, highlighting the loophole which allows Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) to advance loans to grant beneficiaries.
4 August 2011

The CEO of the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) and senior representatives of the Black Sash meet to discuss unauthorised third-party deductions from beneficiaries and other concerns.