POLOKWANE, September 28 – As the deadline for social grant recipients to upgrade their cards to the new Post Office gold card draws closer, the agency maintains the process is on track in Limpopo province and the targeted beneficiaries will be reached before month end.
By the end of this month all South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) beneficiaries will have had to have handed in their old Cash Paymaster Services cards and received their new card. As of October 1, the system will completely roll over to the Post Office as the new organisation in charge of the Sassa payment system.
The card swap was initiated on May 1 following a Constitutional Court order which gave Sassa until the end of September to terminate its contract with CPS, and hand over to the South African Post Office (Sapo) which took over the contact on April 1.
Sassa spokesperson Norman Kutama said the response from the beneficiaries in Limpopo has been overwhelming and they are confident that the target would be reached.
“The targeted beneficiaries are 573,000, and the number remaining is less than 70,000 to be completed before the end of September. Other beneficiaries use their bank accounts and the remainder in far flanked areas will still be paid in cash at pay points,” said Kutama.
“SASSA is confident that, given the positive response by the beneficiaries, it will meet the September deadline for card swap.”
Despite the challenges with the new cards, as some beneficiaries failed to receive their grants back in July either at ATMs or merchants such as Shoprite, Kutama says there were no major setbacks.
“Despite the technical glitches experienced in July of which the Post Office was able to resolve, Sassa managed to pay all beneficiaries in August without challenges.”
“We do not anticipate anyone to remain outside payment including those who will be paid at their normal pay points,” he said.
However, Kutama refuted the growing concern from hawkers that the new process of grant distribution would take away businesses at pay points.
“Sassa has consulted all stakeholders interested in the payment process, including hawkers in Limpopo, and we have given them a list of those open pay points which will continue to function, where beneficiaries used to get their cash payments, so that those interested can align their plans.”