Grant beneficiaries should renew cards

2018-01-25 06:00
Bee Bee Fathima with her Sassa document and old social grant card.Photo: ANDILE SITHOLE

Bee Bee Fathima with her Sassa document and old social grant card.Photo: ANDILE SITHOLE

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ANDILE SITHOLE

SOCIAL grant beneficiaries whose cards have expired are advised to get forms at their ward councillor offices or visit the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) offices.
Sassa initiated the programme last year in an attempt to reduce long queues at social grant cash pay points.

A Plain Street resident, Bee Bee Fathima (78) said: “I’m happy I do not have to stand in a long line at the pension pay point to get my grant. I used to wake up at 5am to catch the bus to Buffelsdale.”

Once everything is finalised, social grant funds will be deposited directly into the beneficiary’s bank account.

Ward 61 councillor Dolly Munien said the renewal of social grant cards are optional and people who opt not to renew theirs can continue using the old cards.

Those who want to apply for the new card should fill in the letter from Sassa, pick up a requisition form for bank payment, get a proof of residence document from the office of the councillor and submit them at the bank.
This programme is convenient and will help senior citizens. However, those who wish to continue getting their social grants at pay points are welcome to do so.

The renewal of Sassa social grant caused an uproar and uncertainty last year after social grant beneficiaries feared that if their cards expire on December 31, 2017 they would no longer receive grants.

In a letter sent to senior citizens Sassa said: “The form, which must be completed, can be obtained from a local Sassa office.
“This form must be filled in and stamped by the bank. Once the change has been made you will no longer have to go to a cash pay point or merchant to collect social grant funds.”

Sassa said the bank card will enable beneficiaries to access social grant funds at any time.

However, it must be noted that the money will be available in the beneficiary’s account on the first working day after the first of every month.
They will be liable for the costs associated with the maintenance of their account and will need to comply with any rules for the account as determined by their bank.

Sassa issued a statement last year and assured residents that everything was resolved with Cash Paymaster Services, Pasa and Mastercard.

CEO Pearl Bhengu said pensioners should not panic as the issue has finally been resolved with all concerned parties.

It has been agreed in negotiations that Pasa will issue a notice to retailers informing them they should find it easy to accept Sassa cards as it will function properly irrespective of the expiry date printed on it.

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