Net 1 UEPS says SCA of South Africa rules against SASSA, CPS
Net1 UEPS Technologies announced that the Supreme Court of Appeal of South Africa has dismissed the Cash Paymaster Services Ltd application. CPS petitioned the SCA to grant it leave to appeal the March 2018 High Court order, which set aside the agreement between CPS and SASSA and the subsequent payment of ZAR317M, and ordered CPS to refund the amount with interest from June 2014 to date of payment. As previously disclosed by the company in June 2014, CPS received approximately ZAR277M from SASSA related to the recovery of additional implementation costs it incurred during the beneficiary bulk re-registration process in fiscal 2012 and 2013. After the award of the tender in January 2012, SASSA requested CPS to biometrically register all social grant beneficiaries and collect additional information for each child grant recipient, materially higher than what was originally cited in the Request For Proposal. CPS agreed to SASSA's request, and as a result CPS performed approximately 11M additional registrations beyond those that it tendered to register for as part of the quoted service fee. Accordingly, CPS claimed a cost recovery from SASSA, supported by a factual findings certificate from an independent auditing firm. SASSA agreed to pay CPS the ZAR277M as full settlement of the additional costs incurred by CPS. "We are disappointed with the SCA judgment and will study the judgment to determine our next course of action," said Herman Kotze, CEO of Net1. "We reiterate our view that the additional registrations we performed based on SASSA's specific request, resulted in the identification and removal of a significant number of ghost beneficiaries and duplicate grants, and had the direct result of saving the South African government more than ZAR 2 billion per year. The cost incurred for the additional registrations was recovered without any profit component. CPS performed the work requested by SASSA on a bona-fide basis, and it is unfortunate that it once again finds itself being prejudiced by apparent shortcomings in SASSA's procurement processes," he concluded. This ruling is expected to temporarily delay the filing of the company's Form 10-K for the year ended June 30, 2019, which was originally scheduled to be filed today, as the company has to assess the potential impact, if any, of this ruling on the company's financial statements.