By Phaladi Seakgwe
The South African Social Security Agency concluded a two day consultative meeting with stakeholders held at Emperors Palace to find ways and means of serving beneficiaries of social grants better. These key partners included amongst others, the South African Post Office, Banking Association of South Africa, Reserve Bank, Black Sash, the security industry, grants beneficiaries, the South African Police Service and various banks as well as retailers. The meeting was held to discuss whether it would be better to use the payments staggering approach to pay beneficiaries in the platforms that they currently use to receive their money.
Speaking at the opening of the meeting, Thandi Sibanyoni Executive Manager for Corporate Services on behalf of the SASSA Executive management highlighted the importance of making it easier for beneficiaries of social grants to receive their money under dignifying conditions. “If it was not of beneficiaries, there would be no SASSA, so we need to constantly look at ways of ensuring that we relieve their anxieties and improve from the mistakes of the past when we service them. As SASSA we do not want beneficiaries to travel long distances to receive their money”, she emphasized. Sibanyoni further said that all the sectors present at the meeting form part of the payment value chain and their inputs will greatly assist SASSA to serve beneficiaries of social grants more efficiently going forward.
Since the beginning of October 2018, government is now fully responsible for the payment of social grants through the Post Office after the relationship with CPS came to an end. Beneficiaries of social grants have options available to them to choose how they want to receive their grants such as at the post office, various retailers and ATMs using the new gold SASSA card or through their own personal bank accounts.
SASSA is appealing to all beneficiaries not to wait until the last minute to change from the old white SASSA card to the new gold SASSA card as no money will be paid into the old card starting from January 2019. Those beneficiaries who are still using the old SASSA card should immediately visit their SASSA offices or post office to swap their cards before 14 December 2018 to avoid any disappointment.
All stakeholders who participated expressed their satisfaction with the outcomes of the meeting and felt that they now understand each other’s operations and areas well to come up with resolutions that will benefit grants recipients. The engagements will continue until the right solutions are found.
The South African Social Security (SASSA) will bring its December payment cycle forward this year. To this end, social grants for December will be paid as from the 28th November 2018, and this applies to beneficiaries who collect their money from ATM’s and stores, This is done in order to cushion the beneficiaries from the December rush which results in long queues in supermarkets and ATM’s. Beneficiaries who receive their money from cash vans and community halls in cash will be paid from the 03 December 2018 according to payment schedules communicated to the different communities. Cash payments are done on different days in different paypoints on a staggered basis throughout the month.
The early December payment should not be seen as a bonus or double payment. Contrary to rumours that circulate on social media, SASSA does not pay a bonus. In other words, if a beneficiary collects their December payment between the 28 November and the end of December they will only get the next payment at the beginning of January 2019.
Money won’t be deposited into the old SASSA cards as from January 2019. Any beneficiary who is still using the old white SASSA card is requested to obtain the new gold SASSA card from SASSA or post offices as a matter of urgency. Any beneficiary who does not obtain the new SASSA card before the 15th of December 2018 won’t be paid in January. This is the final call that SASSA is making and the deadline won’t be extended.
Social grant beneficiaries should look out for tempting offers on social media that are said to be from SASSA when they are not. SASSA has observed a lot of scams that criminals are circulating with an effort to rob unsuspecting beneficiaries, Beneficiaries shouldn’t give strangers their ID or PIN numbers even if they claim to be coming from SASSA. Most of these scams are distributed through WhatsApp, SMS and/or social media. Beneficiaries are advised to call SASSA toll free on 0800 60 10 11 if they doubt something or want to report anything.
Issued on behalf of SASSA
Media enquiries: Paseka Letsatsi
082 883 9969
12 November 2018 | Media release
The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) is pleased to announce significant progress in migrating beneficiaries of social grants from the old SASSA card to the new gold SASSA card. The old white SASSA card has reached expiry date and it however deeply concerns SASSA that some beneficiaries are still holding on to the old card and not swapping it for the new gold SASSA card. The danger of holding on to the old card is that affected beneficiaries risk losing their benefits.
Just over half a million out of a total of about 10.9 million beneficiaries are still in possession of the old SASSA cards. SASSA and SAPO are working tirelessly to migrate these remaining beneficiaries to the new gold SASSA card. This is done through the nationwide government communication strategy which uses a variety of communication platforms in order to reach all social grant beneficiaries. SASSA remains concerned, despite the fact that it has fully complied with the Constitutional Court order.
Commenting on this latest milestone, the Acting CEO of SASSA, Abraham Mahlangu pointed out that “We are pleased to have complied with the instructions of the Concourt, particularly in ensuring that SASSA gets rid of any contractual ties with CPS”. He added that “We urge all remaining beneficiaries of social grants who are still in possession of the old SASSA card to urgently swap it for the new gold SASSA card. We also wish to warn beneficiaries that soon we will no longer make any social grant payments into these old cards. For this reason, affected beneficiaries have to visit the nearest SASSA or post office to do a card swap. They simply have to bring along their ID documents and the old card so that they can be issued with the new one. The process takes less than five minutes".
It cannot be over-emphasised that beneficiaries who haven't swapped their old cards for the new gold SASSA card risk denying themselves a constitutional right to social assistance. Anyone who doesn't swap their old cards for the new ones won’t be able to get their January 2019 grants. Individual letters have also been sent to beneficiaries as part of government's mass communication campaign. November is the deadline for obtaining the new SASSA cards and unfortunately there will be no extension.
Beneficiaries are also requested to ignore tempting SMS and WhattsApp messages claiming that SASSA and some retailers are offering vouchers for unemployed people. This is fake news generated by criminals who want to defraud unsuspecting beneficiaries this festive season. Social grants for December will be made available from as early as 28 November 2018 at post offices, stores and ATM's to avoid the December rush. Cash paypoints will however start paying from 03 December.
Beneficiaries seeking more clarity should call SASSA toll free on 0800601011 or visit SASSA News on Facebook and alternatively www.sassa.gov.za.
Issued on behalf of SASSA
30 October 2018 | SASSA Statement