Digital Profiteers

Who Profits Next from Social Grants?

The new frontier of the ‘digital welfare state’ poses new opportunities for corporations to profit from the data gathered from South Africa’s social grant system. This is a threat to social justice and the constitutional rights of people who receive social grants.

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In this ‘data play’ nothing is mahala!

The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) has a poor record of protecting vulnerable grant recipients from the predatory conduct of private actors that seek to profit from access to their data. Who can forget how it failed to hold Net1 and CPS to account for their abuse of the grants process? This failure is a stark warning that the digitalisation process led by SASSA with new partners requires far greater scrutiny. Already, ‘Big Data’ global corporations like Meta (Facebook/WhatsApp) and smaller local companies are making a play for the future of this new frontier in South Africa.
The findings of Open Secrets’ investigation illuminates some of the private actors involved in South Africa’s move to becoming a ‘digital welfare state’. The investigative report, Digital Profiteers: Who Profits Next from Social Grants, focuses on how the digitalisation of state services offers opportunities for corporations to generate excessive profits from digital systems that can harm vulnerable people.

Investigative Report


A Financial Mail Connect online discussion, drawing attention to the new frontier of digital profiteering and Open Secrets’ new report, Digital Profiteers: Who Next Profits from Social Grants?
Thursday, 25 November 2021, 12:30

Coverage in the Media

News media reports on Open Secrets’ work on digital profiteering