Sassa’s house of gold cards collapses

Elderly and other grant beneficiaries regret having changed to the new gold Sassa cards after failing to receive their grant money.

On July 3 and 4 desperate beneficiaries called The Tembisan to come and observe their dire situation.

DA PR Councillor Maserishane Debeila said on July 3 he got calls from beneficiaries from his Ward 9 who alerted him that they were not paid at both Rabasotho Hall and the Sassa offices.

“At 3pm I attended to the matter at both paypoints and subsequently spoke to Sassa officials. They said they had no clue when people would be paid and they responded by saying this was a national problem,” said Debeila.

Many of the beneficiaries said they went to the post office but the offices were closed and they were unable to get their money.

A mother of three, Tebogo Ngobeni, said she has used the old white card for a long time without experiencing a problem. She answered to a call of changing the old Sassa cards to the new Sassa gold cards and now she can’t get the money for her children.

“On July 1 I tried to withdraw money from an ATM but the machine declined. I went to Pick n Pay and the transaction also declined.

“I was supposed to receive R1 000 for all three children but when I checked the balance at Pick n Pay, the account had only R189.

“What happened to the other money?” Ngobeni lamented.

Many elderly people were left stranded after they failed to get their grant money from Sassa.

She said she enquired at the Sassa offices and was told the money was deposited but they did not know what happened to the money in her account.

A distraught David Matsaung said he has tried with no luck to get his money from Pick n Pay.

“There’s no money in my account. We have debts to pay and we depend on this money,” complained Matsaung.

Sassa officials allegedly claimed money would be paid in gradual portions into the beneficiaries’ accounts.

According to the beneficiaries, the new cards are infested with technical problems and they demanded being taken back to the old cards.

Jacob Kotu, who uses the green NET 1 card, said he got his money and he wanted nothing to hear of the new Sassa gold card.

“Once people agree to the new Sassa gold card, that is where their problems will starts.

“When they allow their accounts to be moved to the post office their nightmare will begin,” explained a happy pensioner Kotu.

The acting CEO of Sassa, Abraham Mahlangu, has noted the challenges experienced by grants beneficiaries during the current social grant payment cycle.

“We are aware that beneficiaries are experiencing problems with the electronic payment of their social grants. What is being experienced is a result of a process of changing from an old to a new payment system for social grants.

“Sassa is also in a process of phasing out Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) as directed by the Constitutional Court and introducing the South African Post Office (Sapo) to pay social grants,” says Mahlangu.

  AUTHOR
Jantji Ngwenyama
Journalist

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