By Phaladi Seakgwe
Minister of Social Development Susan Shabangu continues to engage with traditional leaders and communities throughout the country to listen to their concerns and clarify issues relating to the new payment system used by SASSA and South African Post Office.
Speaking to hundreds of residents and local chiefs in Oakley near Hazyview recently, Minister Shabangu explained that she is interacting with communities to further explain the new approach taken by government to pay social grants throughout the country and also deal with any challenges they may experience. She emphasized that government had to take over the payment of social grants and bring the post office on board due to challenges experienced with the former service provider responsible for distribution of grants.
“As you know, there was an order by the Constitutional court to ensure that we correct the wrongs of the past. Beneficiaries of social grants suffered under the previous arrangement and we do not want to see that happening again. The issue of illegal deductions from your grants is over”, she said.
The Minister further used the occasion to assure the authority of Bakwena and residents that government will work hard to improve conditions at post offices. She said proper infrastructure will be rolled out including Wi-Fi in post offices to ensure that communities benefit as part of the process to modernize post offices.
Minister Shabangu reminded beneficiaries of social grants that grants will increase with effect from 01 April 2019 as outlined in the Budget speech delivered by Finance Minister Tito Mboweni recently.
Furthermore, she appealed to beneficiaries not to rush to withdraw their money on the first day of payment as the money will be available in their new gold SASSA cards throughout the month and beyond.