SASSA Cards To Be Replaced

In December, Minister Lindiwe Zulu responded to a written parliamentary Q&A regarding whether SASSA cards would be replaced after a security breach.

Lindiwe Zulu, Minister of Social Development, has been speaking to stakeholders about replacing the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) cards, due to a security breach, which was first reported in 2019.

Zulu responded to a written parliamentary Q&A and stated that the cards used by SASSA beneficiaries are in fact bank cards which were issued by the South African Post Office (SAPO). SAPO issued these bank cards, to applicants who were approved for social grants through the post office, on behalf of Postbank.

Back in 2019, SASSA received a report stating that the master keys for the SASSA cards had been compromised with the bank. As the responsible entity for the National Payment System, the South African Reserve Bank decided that all current SASSA cards would need to be replaced.

However, SARB set conditions for the improvement controls related to manufacturing of cards, storage and issuing within Postbank. Which have been addressed by Postbank.

Since SASSA would like for the cards to be replaced, they have decided that existing cards would not be issued, as it would be an inconvenience to social grant beneficiaries.

Currently, discussions are taking place with SAPO and Postbank to ensure that beneficiaries experience little to no disruption during the replacement of SASSA cards.

The public should note that the potentially compromised cards did not result in any beneficiary losing any money. Fraud, however, has been taking place due to poor implementation of controls in the management of cards within the post office and not due to the security of the card.

The security lapse for the master keys of the cards took place at the beginning of the payment contract with SAPO. The lapse took some time to come to light, however, once it was made public the South African Reserve Bank addressed the issue.

Even though SASSA is not the custodian of the cards, they plan to play their part in fighting crime and corruption.



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