Shock at R10 main­te­nance fee

Afro Voice (Northern Cape) - - POLITICS - DEN­NIS CRUYWAGEN news@the­newage.co.za

AS MEM­BERS of Par­lia­ment were shocked by the news that a bank would charge so­cial grant re­cip­i­ents R10 a month for ac­count main­te­nance fees, they were also in­formed that a ten­der for a new cash pay­ment provider was fac­ing a le­gal chal­lenge.

The R10 charge, called an ac­count main­te­nance fee, is to be levied by Grindrod Bank on at least 5.4 mil­lion grant re­cip­i­ents us­ing their fa­cil­i­ties.

De­tails of the R10 charge and the court chal­lenge by S4S came out when Diane Dunker­ley briefed Par­lia­ment’s So­cial De­vel­op­ment Port­fo­lio Com­mit­tee on the South African So­cial Se­cu­rity Agency Se­cu­rity’s readi­ness.

The brief­ing by Sassa’s grants ad­min­is­tra­tor came af­ter the Con­sti­tu­tional Court sanc­tioned an ap­pli­ca­tion by Sassa to ex­tend the con­tract of Cash Pay­mas­ter Ser­vices to con­tinue to make cash pay­ments to so­cial grant re­cip­i­ents for a fur­ther six months from April 1.

Dunker­ley said Sassa had three pay­ment streams in readi­ness. Her ex­pla­na­tion of the se­cond stream pro­voked anger from MPs.

The se­cond chan­nel, she said, was also an elec­tronic pay­ment chan­nel, but only avail­able to those peo­ple who were us­ing the cur­rent Sassa card. They would have to use their pin num­bers at ATMs.

“For this chan­nel we’ve split from the re­main­der of work that CPS has done. The pay­ment cov­ers about 5.4 mil­lion records. Sassa will pay di­rectly into card ac­counts held by Grindrod,” she said.

“The funds for this will be re­leased this week. Funds will be avail­able lit­er­ally from mid­night on April 1. This is for ev­ery­body who uses a pin for their ac­counts. There are bank charges be­cause these ac­counts have been moved into a bank­ing sys­tem. It’s a fee of R10 a month. These ac­counts are out­side of the con­tract where they were sub­sidised.

“We want to raise this as a con­cern,” Dunker­ley said.

Grindrod, said Dunker­ley, claimed that the fees would be for an “ac­count main­te­nance cost of R10 a month”.

Com­mit­tee chair­per­son Rose­mary Capa re­acted with in­dig­na­tion to this dis­clo­sure.

“To lose R10 is a bit too much. It’s never been a mat­ter that we saw com­ing.”

“This is quite a crit­i­cal is­sue. Adding R10 onto a bank fee is quite a dis­as­ter. We as a com­mit­tee are re­ally con­cerned about this. We can­not an­nounce a very small in­crease in pen­sions and then we strip it,” IFP MP Lie­zl­van der Merwe said.

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