Sassa swops to gold

The SA Post Office – gazetted as the preferred payment channel for all social grants in the country – has swopped more than one million beneficiaries from the outgoing Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) social-security card to one issued by Postbank.

The first million beneficiaries do not include those who openedPostbank Mzansi accounts as their preferred payment method, says SA Post Office chief operating officer Lindiwe Kwele.

Thepostoffice says social-grant beneficiaries with the old white South African Social Services Agency (SASSA) card, to be phased out completely by the end of September, should swop it for the new gold Sassa card.

This can be done at any Sassa office on any work day as well as at Sassa pay points during the July grants payment cycle.

Ms Kwele said Sassa and post office teams would use town halls and other public venues around the country to speed up the move to the new cards, getting as many people using them as possible by the end of August.

“We call on social-grants beneficiaries to swop their cards and to not leave it to the last minute,” she said.

The post office says it will take beneficiaries about three minutes to be issued with the new card once they get to the front of the queue, and soon they can get their cards at post offices countrywide, although an announcement on this is still pending.

The new Sassa card is gold with the country’s coat of arms on the right-hand side and the letters “SASSA” inscribed on the left.

“We have seen people being unwittingly persuaded to accept other cards only to realise later that they will be charged all sorts of exorbitant fees,” said Ms Kwele.

“The new gold Sassa card guarantees that you will not be debited with a monthly service fee of R10, or more, or illegal deductions for loans, airtime or electricity.”

The new card has several benefits for beneficiaries:

Three cash withdrawals from any participating merchant (such as Shoprite, Boxer, etc).

One free over-the-counter cash withdrawal at the post office.

Unlimited free swipes (purchase payments) at all merchants.

One free ATM balance enquiry a month.

The only deduction permitted is for funeral policies, up to no more than 10% of the grant value.

“Beneficiariesexercisetheir method of payment, so that no one is locked in for life. Should any beneficiary wish to change, then all they need to do is to go to a Sassa office or a pay-point as soon as possible with their ID and tell the officials on site that they want the new Sassa gold card,” Ms Kwele said.

“We are delighted to be a partner with Sassa in this inter-governmental initiative,” said SA Post Office chief executive officer Mark Barnes.