19 September 2018


THE OFFICIAL BOKONE BOPHIRIMA GOVERNMENT NEWSPAPER

Shabangu assures grant beneficiaries of smooth payments 

by: Nthusang Lefafa     date: 20 july 2018

Minister of Social Development, Susan Shabangu, has personally assured social grant beneficiaries that they would receive their money on time as from next month. 
She made this assurance during her recent visit to Matlosana to check progress made with regards to the transition from the old South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) card to the new one, which is yellow in colour. 
Last month some social grant beneficiaries either failed to get their money on time or were only able to access a portion of their usual monthly financial assistance. The technical glitches, which were said to be because of a system overload because the South African Post Office (SAPO) was not used to handling such a high number of transactions at a time, caused a national outcry that saw the story exploding within days in the media. 
At the time Shabangu acknowledged the challenges in a media statement. 
“We are aware that beneficiaries experienced problems with the electronic payment of their social grants. What is being experienced is a result of a process of changing from an old to a new payment system for social grants. I would like to reassure you that the challenges encountered in the payment month of July will not occur again. The agency is working non-stop to ensure that the system does not fail the beneficiaries,” the Minister emphasised.
Grant beneficiaries in Bokone Bophirima said they welcome the Minister’s assurance, but did not want to raise their hopes too high. 
Sarah Tshabadira from Itsoseng said due to her previous experience she has decided to adopt a ‘wait to see’ approach for her child’s grant. 
“I understand that SASSA is paying attention to the situation and this is comforting news. But due to my previous experience all I can say is that I will have to wait for the day that payments are made to say that I am fully confident that I will receive my money,” she said.
Evelyn Manone who receives a foster care grant for her grandchild told Semphete that she experienced no problems when she went to collect her money.
“I have already switched from the old card to the new one. On the day I had to collect the money for my grandchild I received it in full and did not experience any problems. While I was standing in the queue I heard a few people complaining about the new card but I was fortunate enough to receive my money as normal,” said Manone.
In her statement, Shabangu encouraged beneficiaries to swap their cards to the new one by the end of August.   SASSA started with the card swapping project in May and will stop in September. The Minister also appealed to officials to treat beneficiaries with respect and dignity as one of the values that SASSA upholds in serving the public.
The new SASSA card comes with the following benefits:
•             Four free cash withdrawals at shop tills each month
•             One free cash withdrawal at a Post Office each
•             Unlimited free swipes to pay for shopping at tills
•             One free replacement card
•             Unlimited free PIN resets at your SASSA branch
•             No Electronic Fund Transfers (EFT) debits or stop orders
•             No unauthorised deductions such as electricity and airtime will take place on the new card
SASSA encourages communities to do their card swap by the end of September 2018 to avoid problems with accessing their money.