Re­cip­i­ents urged to re­new cards

Grant ben­e­fi­cia­ries have un­til the end of the month to do so

Pretoria News Weekend - - NATION - MARY JANE MPHAHLELE 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

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