Recipients urged to renew cards
Grant beneficiaries have until the end of the month to do so
mary-jane.mphahlele.inl.co.za THE South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) says beneficiaries who have failed to meet its deadline to renew their old grant cards should not panic. They will receive their grants this month.
Sassa spokesperson Kgomoco Diseko said thousands of social grant beneficiaries who were unable to adhere to the December14 deadline of changing over to the new gold Sassa cards would not lose their money but had an opportunity to claim it once they had collected their new cards.
“Sassa is in the process of reconciling funds left on the old cards and the funds will be deposited into the old cards when this exercise is completed. Just over 200000 beneficiaries still have to visit their Sassa or post office to collect their new cards.
“No beneficiary will forfeit their money. Sassa put measures in place to ensure that beneficiaries are not denied their constitutional right to social security,” said Diseko
The Sassa gold card which came into effect in October allows beneficiaries to get their full grant without incurring additional charges.
This comes as the organisation, which has been mired in controversy in the past, has been trying to ward off potential scammers, as well as prevent fraud and corruption which has seen many beneficiaries losing their money.
Last month, Sassa worked around the clock to assist social grant beneficiaries who had failed to meet the deadline. It has since given beneficiaries up to the end of this month to collect their cards.
Acting Sassa chief executive Abraham Mahlangu said grants would not be available on the old expired cards from December 2018.
“All affected beneficiaries must visit Sassa offices with their ID books and collect their new cards to enable them to collect their January grants.
“We had to put our heads together to come up with a working solution because social assistance is a constitutional right. 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,” said Mahlangu.
The new card will ensure that there are no illegal deductions, and will entitle three free cash withdrawals a month at merchants (such as Shoprite and Boxer), one free cash withdrawal from the Post Office and free swipes at merchants.
The Post Office takes over from Cash Payment Services, this after the Concourt ordered the Social Development Department to find a new distributor.
Beneficiaries who want to receive their grants through their private bank accounts do not need to get the new Sassa card. This category of beneficiaries will continue to receive their grants through using their private bank accounts.
THE new Sassa card, left, and the old one. | SIMPHIWE MBOKAZI African News Agency/ana