Sassa payment issues have been resolved

The South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) admits that it experienced problems in paying a portion of its beneficiaries since July 1.

The agency pays over 12 million beneficiaries per month and about 700 000 of them use the new Sassa card.

These 700 000 beneficiaries could not draw their money at some of the banking infrastructures in the country, notwithstanding the fact that Sassa had already deposited funds into their accounts.

Sassa and its partner, the South African Post Office (Sapo), had to work tirelessly on a 24-hour basis to clear the technical glitches which made it difficult for money to be drawn even if the card already had funds deposited by Sassa.

Also read: Sassa system roll-out off to bumpy start

“The capacity of the system to deal with huge volumes has been strengthened to ensure that in the coming months, nobody goes home unpaid.

“The line speed between Sapo and the payment clearing house called Bankserv was increased drastically and post offices were enabled to make manual payments whenever system faults arise.

“Our plea to beneficiaries is that they don’t have to necessarily collect their grants on the first day of the month and that they don’t have to queue in the early hours of the morning at post offices because their money will be available at any hour of the day.”

“They don’t have to subject themselves to the negative weather conditions we are experiencing and they have to avoid the congestion that comes at the beginning of every month,” says Sassa acting CEO Abraham Mahlangu.

Also read: Sassa: “SMS is a hoax”

Sassa has to phase out Cash Paymaster Services by the end of September.

Beneficiaries should ensure that by the end of August they have acquired the new Sassa card because the old one is expiring at the end of September 2018.

The new Sassa card is an improvement of the old card and it does not allow deductions for things such as airtime, loans or prepaid electricity, among others.

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 accepted by all ATMs displaying the Visa sign.

The frustrations at the beginning of the month coincided with the Sassa strike which had the potential of exacerbating the situation.

“The strike had no impact on operations and the Labour Court directed that it must be called off so that negotiations can be initiated not later than July 12.

“We wish to also apologise sincerely to the affected beneficiaries and commit to not have these problems recur in future,” Mahlangu concluded.

Beneficiaries who encounter any problems can contact Sassa toll-free on 0800 60 10 11 or inbox Sassa on social media.

In extreme cases, Sassa will provide social relief of distress in the form of food parcels to anybody encountering problems with accessing their grants.

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  AUTHOR
Xoliswa Kali

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