18 December 2018

South Africa: Sassa Throws Lifeline to Beneficiaries

South Africa Social Security Agency (Sassa) beneficiaries, who failed to meet the card swap deadline, will now be able to collect their January grants from 28 December 2018 at automated teller machines (ATMs) and stores.

SASSA Acting CEO Abraham Mahlangu said the agency has intervened on behalf of social grant beneficiaries who failed to meet the 14 December deadline for changing over to the new gold SASSA card.

"About 370 000 beneficiaries were affected. This was because the white SASSA cards expire in December and beneficiaries were urged to obtain the new cards by December," Mahlangu said.

Mahlangu said in terms of the arrangement SASSA made with the South African Post Office (SAPO) and its banking partner, beneficiaries with old SASSA cards will now be able to collect their January grants which will be available from 28 December 2018 at ATMs and stores.

"Cash pay points will pay from 3 January 2019 onwards, according to the relevant schedules per area. The January 2019 and subsequent grants will not be available on the old expired cards. What beneficiaries have to do is to visit SASSA offices with their ID books and simply collect their new cards. They can then use the new cards to collect their January 2019 grants.

"We had to put our heads together to come up with a working solution because social assistance is a constitutional right. As a caring government we couldn't deny our beneficiaries their rights because of a technicality, so we just had to cut the red tape and make it happen," said Mahlangu.

Mahlangu also urged beneficiaries to respond to SASSA's messages on time in future.

Beneficiaries who want to receive their grants through their private bank accounts don't need to apply for the new card and they will continue to receive their grants through their private bank accounts.

The new SASSA card does not allow deductions to go through and beneficiaries can also enjoy benefits such as one free withdrawal at post offices per month and free balance enquiries at stores with point of sale machines.

Beneficiaries are also reminded to keep their PINs secret and not to respond to suspicious offers made on social media. Beneficiaries should enquire on 0800601011 if they are unsure about any messages they receive, particularly on their phones.

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