As a temporary measure, Sassa recently introduced a cardless social grant withdrawal method for beneficiaries who are holders of the Sassa gold card. This is because gold cards belonging to some beneficiaries were due to expire, from 31 March and throughout the end of April.
Gold card renewal arrangements made by the Post Bank were further challenged by the closure of post office branches nationwide due to the liquidation of the South African Post Office that was announced last week.
However, Sassa’s temporary cardless grant collection method has raised concerns from the Western Cape Social Development Department.
The provincial department’s spokesperson, Monique Mortlock-Malgas, pointed out that several affected beneficiaries encountered various challenges upon trying to collect their grants.
We have visited various service points in Sassa offices across the province over the last couple of months, just to document all of the complaints from beneficiaries on the ground. We've spoken to beneficiaries on the ground MEC Fernandez has on numerous occasions even have to step in when she saw inefficient services, Where there were no proper queue Management Systems in place.
Following engagements between them and Sassa’s provincial and national management regarding a more viable solution, Sassa opted to extend the expiration date of the gold card to the end of the year.
“The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) welcomes the decision taken by the Payment Association of South Africa (PASA) to extend the validity of expired SASSA/Postbank gold cards until 31 December 2023.”
As a result, recipients of social grants can still use their expired cards to make purchases at participating stores such as Checkers, Shoprite, USave, OK, Pick n Pay, Boxer, and others as well as ATMs for social grant payments.
Despite this, Mortlock-Malgas maintains that Sassa has not practised effective communication regarding these changes. Further pointing out that most beneficiaries do not have access to social media platforms.
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