11 January 2013

South Africa: Grant Beneficiaries Using Banks Urged to Re-Register

Pretoria — The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) has called on beneficiaries who receive their social grants through commercial banks to start re-registering at their nearest re-registration sites.

SASSA, which started the third phase of a process to re-register all social grant beneficiaries this month, has issued letters to banked beneficiaries, detailing their individual dates of re-registration.

Government is rolling out a new biometric card to social grant beneficiaries, which will help reduce the risk of fraud in the social grants system and improve the delivery of grants while cutting the costs involved in pay-outs.

New branded biometric magstripe cards will replace the current Sekulula cards.

The first phase of the project saw new beneficiaries being enrolled onto the new system. The second phase saw existing eligible beneficiaries being enrolled on to the new system at SASSA pay points, local offices and designated sites.

The agency has requested beneficiaries to visit sites on the specified dates, so as to minimise long queues, congestion or overcrowding.

"Beneficiaries are reminded not to panic, spend the night at re-registration sites or visit the sites on dates that they were not allocated. SASSA would like to assure beneficiaries that their grants will not be stopped without good reason," said SASSA spokesperson, Paseka Letsatsi.

Letsatsi said SASSA has made sure that the customer care toll-free number has capacity to handle enquiries.

"Senior citizens over 75 years old, and the sick and frail are not to visit the re-registration sites but call the following numbers: 0800 60 10 11 or 0800 60 01 60 or 012 400 2322, and SASSA will come re-register you from the comfort of your home.

"You will be contacted by an official to make an appointment. Your social grant will not be affected during this time," Letsatsi explained.

Beneficiaries who have lost their SASSA payment cards or do not have a PIN code are requested to visit their SASSA local office for assistance.

SASSA also urged beneficiaries not to hand over their SASSA payment cards to any member of the public and reveal their PIN codes even to family members.

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