In March 2023, the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) advised social grant beneficiaries whose Posbank issued gold cards were expected to expire this very month to renew their cards at their nearest Post Office branches.
This might have caused some panic amongst beneficiaries that were not able to renew their Sassa/Postbank gold card within the stipulated timeliness.
Fortunately, the Payment Association of South Africa (PASA) has extended the validity of expired Sassa/Postbank Gold Cards until 31 December 2023.
In an interview, Dr Bongani Diako, Postbank spokesperson has explained:
This extension means that every social grant beneficiary will not worry about their card expiring, nor changing their method of payment because they will be able to access their social grant funds.
Postbank hopes that this extension will also bring much-needed relief to those who rely on social grants on a monthly basis.
The Sassa/Postbank Gold Cards are tailored products designed to protect social grants recipients from past financial abuse, and those using them will continue to receive three free transactions per month.
According to Sassa, the expired cards will be functional for social grants payments transactions at ATMs and merchant Point of Sale withdrawals, and purchases without the need to collect new cards or switch to other banks.
Postbank has finished making its own preparations, and PASA has written to all acquiring banks to make sure they are prepared to accept Sassa/Postbank Gold Cards that have expired.
Amid these changes, Post Office branches will continue to provide the service of reissuing lost and stolen cards, also facilitating payments for grants recipients who prefer using biometric verification.
Replacing the Sassa/Postbank Gold Cards before the end of December 2023 is in line with the directive of the South African Reserve Bank and a new Postbank social grants payments cards will be launched in line with the card replacement programme.
The recently introduced Postbank cardless method of accessing social grants via participating retailers is still available starting from 4 May 2023 when Sassa grants payments commence.
Which social grants are administered in South Africa?
In South Africa, there are seven types of social grants administered by the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa).
These grants are the Child support grant, Foster child grant, Older persons grant, Disability grant, War veterans grant, Grant-in-aid and Social Relief of Distress Grant.
The grants are aimed at providing financial assistance to vulnerable individuals and households who are in need of social security support.
The eligibility criteria and application details for each grant vary, and interested individuals can visit the Sassa website or local offices for more information.