WE DID not "initiate illegal deductions", reiterates Net 1 chief executive Serge Belamant.
This follows the outcome of the Gauteng Division, Pretoria High Court on allegations that the company has conducted illegal deductions from social welfare recipients’ bank accounts.
“We welcome this order as it clarifies that grant recipients may continue to exercise their human rights to transact freely with any service provider utilizing the full functionality of their bank accounts,” says Belamant, who has relinquished the chairmanship position.
“We will continue to facilitate duly authorized payments for financial services and other products and reiterate that we do not initiate any “illegal deductions.”
As verified by KPMG in their recent factual findings report, our debit orders have no preference over other debit orders, are submitted through the national payment system and are randomized in accordance with industry practice.”
According to Net1, DA and Black Sash have been quoted in the press, stating that they had received a large number of complaints from recipients regarding “deductions” from their grants.
When asked to present evidence or legitimacy of the allegations Black Sash did not respond, and DA -that claims it received 600 complaints -failed to respond as well.
Net1 believes SASSA’s interpretation was erroneous and on June 3, 2016, it filed for a declaratory order with the High Court to provide certainty to Net1, as well as other industry stakeholders, on the interpretation of the Act and Regulations.
The matter was heard by the Court on October 17 and 18, 2016 and judgment was handed down on Tuesday 09 May 2017.
SASSA, its Chief Executive Officer and the Minister of Social Development were ordered to pay the costs of the application.
The Company invites any grant recipients who have experienced any issues with their grants to contact the Company’s call centre at 0800-600-160.