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SASSA sets final deadline on old payment cards

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SASSA says about 370 000 beneficiaries have yet to swap from old payment cards.
SASSA says about 370 000 beneficiaries have yet to swap from old payment cards.

The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) says it has made arrangements with the SA Post Office (SAPO) and its banking partner to ensure beneficiaries are able to withdraw grants using the old cards.

As part of phasing out the SASSA/Grindrod Bank-branded cards, social grant beneficiaries were required to swap to new modernised payment cards by 14 December ahead of the January payment cycle. The cards, developed in partnership with SAPO, were introduced in line with efforts to take over the grants payments function from Cash Paymaster Services.

Despite pleas for everyone to migrate timeously, about 370 000 beneficiaries have not done so, according to the agency.

SASSA has intervened to allow monies to be collected from 28 December at ATMs and participating stores for the January payment cycle.

According to Abraham Mahlangu, SASSA acting CEO, cash pay point collections will commence on 3 January 2019, as per to the relevant schedules.

He goes on to explain that subsequent grants will not be available on the old cards.

"What beneficiaries have to do is to visit SASSA offices with their ID books and simply collect their new cards," urges Mahlangu.

"We had to put our heads together to come up with a working solution because social assistance is a constitutional right. As a caring government we couldn't deny our beneficiaries their rights because of a technicality, so we just had to cut the red tape and make it happen."

Beneficiaries who want to receive their grants through their private bank accounts don't need to apply for the new card and they will continue to receive their grants through their private bank accounts.

"The new SASSA card does not allow deductions to go through and beneficiaries can also enjoy benefits such as one free withdrawal at post offices per month and free balance enquiries at stores with point of sale machines."

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