This conversation will focus on the digitalization of social grant payments in South Africa. Our focus will be on exploring the de facto monopoly over social grant payments by one company that owned and controlled the infrastructure upon which these payments were made. How was one private provider able to gain such control over public social security payments? What were the perceived and real benefits of its digital payment infrastructure? To what extent did this monopoly over the payment of government social grants allow for the sale of exploitative financial services to a ‘customer base’ of grantees. How did human rights advocacy and litigation, including by the Black Sash, lead to the replacement of this company by the South African Post Office and what has happened since?
Speaker: Lynette Maart, Director of the South African human rights organization Black Sash.

About the Series

Transformer States: A Conversation Series on Digital Government and Human Rights is a newly-launched series of virtual conversations organized by the Digital Welfare State and Human Rights Project, based at the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice. Through in-depth interviews with practitioners and academics working on digital government, this series aims to further explore digital transformation and its impact on the lives and rights of individuals. Read more about the series here.


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