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'SASSA August payments without major incident'

Aug 2, 2018
'SASSA August payments without major incident'

The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) August payment cycle has gone off without any major incidents at all pilot sites spread throughout the country.

“The South African Post Office (SAPO) made 100% cash payments at all its pilot sites. This modest achievement can be attributed to the expertise that was pooled from among major role players in the banking, retail and ICT industries, as well as the long hours of hard work put in by SASSA and SAPO staff,” Social Development Minister Susan Shabangu announced on Thursday.

The 1st of August marked a historic milestone for the partnership between SASSA and SAPO regarding the payment of social grants. This was the first day that SAPO piloted the takeover of cash payments of social grants at pay points, a function previously performed by Cash Paymaster Services (CPS).

This comes at the back of technical glitches that were experienced during the July payment cycle.

Shabangu said the system has been optimised to the extent that it can handle the number of transactions in conformity with the standards of the banking industry. 

”This is the single most significant reason there were no glitches, in spite of the system being under immense pressure. The smooth manner in which payments were done yesterday [Wednesday] points out the readiness of SASSA and SAPO in completely taking over the payment of social grants once the CPS contract expires at the end of September, as directed by the Constitutional Court,” the Minister said.

She noted that a few incidents were experienced where beneficiaries with new SASSA cards attempted to collect their grant monies at pay points,  but were redirected to ATMs (automated teller machine) and participating merchants.

“Beneficiaries are made aware that the new SASSA card functions the same way as any bank card with a PIN and does not make use of biometrics as a method of verification. Beneficiaries who previously used PINs to access their grants using the old SASSA card are requested to collect their grants from ATMs and retailers. As from today, this category of beneficiaries will no longer be served at pay points because the pay points use finger prints as a method of verification,” the Minister explained.

Beneficiaries with queries can contact SASSA toll free on 0800 60 10 11 or inbox SASSA on social media.

Benefits of new SASSA card 

Shabangu is currently visiting cash pay points in the Sedibeng area in Gauteng to increase awareness and beneficiary education on the benefits and urgency of obtaining the new SASSA card.

Amongst the benefits is that grant recipients are entitled to three free cash withdrawals at points of sale, one free withdrawal at the Post Office per month, free swipes at points of sale, the card is accepted by all ATMs displaying the VISA sign, and no unauthorized deductions will be allowed on the new SASSA card.

As part of the national plan, various Ministers from the Inter Ministerial Committee will be spread across the country to further communicate the benefits of the new SASSA card. – SAnews.gov.za