02 July 2020


SASSA successfully pays millions of grant beneficiaries

by: Nthusang Lefafa   date: 03 August 2018

Grant beneficiaries received their August payment from the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) without experiencing any serious difficulties.
It was for the first time that cash payments were made at SASSA pay points since the South African Post Office (SAPO) took over from Cash Paymaster Services (CPS).
The success comes after last month’s technical glitches that affected many grant beneficiaries due to a system overload.
Minister of Social Development, Susan Shabangu, expressed joy through a media statement saying the August payment cycle went through without any incidents being reported.
“I am pleased to report that the August payment cycle went without any major incidents in all of today’s [Wednesday 01 August] pilots sites spread throughout all the nine provinces. 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,” said Minister Shabangu. 
She added that 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 why there were no glitches in spite of the system being under immense pressure, she said.
Minister Shabangu also pointed out that “the smooth manner in which payments were done today 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 few incidents that were reported came from beneficiaries who were using the new SASSA cards and attempted to collect their grant monies at pay points, but were redirected to ATMs and participating merchants. Beneficiaries were told by officials 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 PIN to access their grants using the old SASSA card are requested to collect their grants from ATMs and retailers. As from this week, this category of beneficiaries will no longer be served at pay points because the pay point uses fingerprints as a method of verification.
During the July payment period about 700 000 of the 12 million beneficiaries that SASSA provides with social grants could not access their funds. The problem mainly affected beneficiaries who use the new SASSA gold card.
SASSA had already paid the monies into all the accounts, but beneficiaries could not withdraw their money due to a system overload. SASSA has resolved all these issues and all the affected beneficiaries have now been paid for the August cycle, it said. 
SASSA Regional Spokesperson for Bokone Bophirima, Nthabiseng Motsieleng, encouraged social grant beneficiaries to heed the call to swap their cards for the new gold ones. 
“SASSA is running a campaign of swapping the old cards for the new SASSA gold card. Those who have not done card swap by end of September 2018 will not receive their grants in October 2018. There will be no extension period, therefore beneficiaries are encouraged to ensure that they do a card swap in order to avoid disappointments and unnecessary hardships,” said Motsieleng.
This new card also allows three free cash withdrawals at points of sale, one free withdrawal at the post office per month, free swipes at points of sale and it is accepted by all ATMs displaying the VISA sign.
Beneficiaries who are experiencing any payment related challenges are urged to make use of the SASSA Toll Free Number which is 0800 60 10 11.