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The House Never Loses: Net1, Grindrod and the National Payment System

Venue: PLAAS Boardroom
Date: 6 Jun 2017
Time: 13:30 to 14:30

Presenter: Erin Torkelson, PhD Candidate at the University of California, Berkeley

“It’s like the lotto,” said a Khayelitsha pensioner, “sometimes I get little money and sometimes I get no money at all.” This conceptualization of the South African social grant system as a gamble — and not a reliable state entitlement — would be heretical in contemporary development literature, which touts cash transfers as the “solution” to global poverty. Millions of South African grant holders, however, know that the 2012 contract between SASSA and Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) gave rise to, what they see, as a massive theft of their grant money through “deductions.” What is less clear, and what this presentation will explore, is how SASSA, CPS, Net1 and Grindrod bank have created an entirely separate and segregated population registry, banking product, and payment mechanism. Controlled by a private company and paid for by the National Treasury, this seems to be a new techno-financial dispossession and incarceration of the poor.

Follow seminar live on twitter: @PLAASuwc

#SocialGrants #SASSA #CPS #NationalTreasury