30,000 must collect cards today or lose their Sassa grants


More than 30,000 Eastern Cape social grant beneficiaries will not receive their money on Friday if they do not collect their new "gold cards" by the end of Thursday.
SA Social Security Agency (Sassa) Eastern Cape spokesperson Luzuko Qina said the agency may be forced to temporarily suspend all these accounts as they had not been used for three consecutive months.
“We understand that there may be various reasons for people not coming forward. However, if a grant is not collected for three months it shall be suspended,” said Qina.
The agency placed an advertisement in the Dispatch on Wednesday, informing all grant beneficiaries who still have the old “white cards” to collect new “gold cards” at their nearest Sassa offices, or face having their accounts suspended.
The Post Office was recently gazetted as the new preferred payment centre for all social grants in the country and Postbank as the issuing bank.
The Post Office and Sassa launched a new card for social grant beneficiaries in May.
The deadline to phase out the old card was September 30, but this was extended to December 31 and collection to Thursday.
Subsequent grants would not be available on the old expired cards.
The new Sassa card does not allow deductions to be made on the card.
Beneficiaries can enjoy benefits such as one free withdrawal at post offices per month and free balance enquiries at stores which have point-of-sale machines.
The changes follow parliament’s intervention after reports of fraudulent transactions on the old Sassa cards, including stop orders for airtime and funeral policies.
Qina said Sassa paid out more than R2.2 billion to 2.8 million recipients in the Eastern Cape.
Of the 370 000 beneficiaries who had not collected their cards by the December 31 deadline nationwide, 103 000 were from the Eastern Cape.
He said many people had since collected the cards, although more than 33 000 still had not arrived to verify and collect the new “gold cards”.
"Social grants are meant for the poorest of the poor and if for three consecutive months grants remain uncollected, this becomes a cause for concern," said Qina. Qina said the agency issued notices about the December 31 deadline, in which SASSA stated that beneficiaries “needed to either provide us with their commercial bank accounts or we provide them with the new gold Sassa card. These are the only two methods of payment available to them,” said Qina.
For information contact the Sassa customer care-line on 043-707-6335 or 0800-601011...

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