Pensioners, be aware of ATM withdrawal charges
ABOUT a year ago, I raised complaints regarding Sassa deductions with you on behalf of my mom, Mrs Ellis, and her friend Mrs Vermeulen, which you took up on their behalf.
Unfortunately, the same thing is happening again. These pensioners do not know from month to month what amount is available for them to draw, any balance check results in a deduction.
During March my mother travelled to Durban as my brother was very ill with cancer.
On her return, I withdrew her pension at an Absa ATM where a balance of R15 was left as it could not be withdrawn.
My brother passed away in April and again the pension had to be withdrawn at an ATM.
This time a balance of R12 was left, no sign of the R15, making a total of R27, which may not seem much, but to a pensioner it is two loaves of bread. My mother was advised to contact the call centre, which she did on Sunday, but the person could not give her an answer.
Both pensioners are in their 80s, and they would very much appreciate it if you could once again bring the matter to the attention of the authorities involved.
Your assistance will be greatly appreciated.
Executive manager at Sassa, Dianne Dunkerley investigated and wrote: “I have investigated Mrs Ellis’s complaint, received through her daughter, Ms Main.
Mrs Ellis receives the full old-age pension of R1 620 per month.
However, she withdraws her money monthly from Checkers, which is not an accredited merchant.
The only merchants which offer full cash back, without any service fees are Shoprite and Pick n Pay.
While Shoprite and Checkers are part of the same group, the Checkers franchise opted out and do charge service fees.
These vary from R2.30 to R5.87 per month, depending on the amount withdrawn.
In April and May, Mrs Ellis withdrew her money from a bank ATM – bank charges are applied. These amounted to R22.14 each month.
This is why Mrs Ellis was unable to withdraw her full grant amount – an amount to cover the bank charges must be available in the account.
Mrs Ellis has no deductions from her grant – it is only the bank charges which have been applied.
I have informed Mrs Main and Mrs Ellis.”