Bleak Christmas for Sassa beneficiary?

2017-12-15 06:00
Elliot Jali with the printout showing a deduction from his pension.PHOTO: khaya magenu

Elliot Jali with the printout showing a deduction from his pension.PHOTO: khaya magenu

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A KOKSTAD grandfather with five grandchildren, who depend on his R1 600 Sassa grant, is facing a bleak Christmas after Mercantile Bank Limited allegedly deducted money out of his account without his knowledge.

Elliot Jali (73), from Shayamoya said he went to withdraw the grant at an ATM on the November 29 but “nearly collapsed” after finding the balance was only R536.15.

He immediately went to the Sassa offices in Kokstad to find out what was going on, but officials allegedly failed to help him.

He was given a piece of paper that says “dispute 2725966 and stipple 2725988” and he didn’t understand what that meant.

“I told them I want my money because I have never loaned any money from the bank and they said I will not get it back because it has already been deducted.

“I don’t know how this could have happened because I never loaned any money from the bank. I don’t even know where the bank is.”

He said he does not know what his family will eat on Christmas Day.

“Somebody told me the bank has offices in Durban and Johannesburg, not Kokstad, and I have never been to those in my life. Please tell them to return my money because even today we haven’t eaten anything at home.”

He said if he doesn’t get feedback from Sassa he will have to collect rotten food from dust bins and the dump to feed the children.

“No one in my family works, all of them depend on my grant to put food on the table.”

Mercantile Bank Limited’s Marketing and Brand head, Hope Malaza said they have checked the debit order and confirmed that Mercantile Bank does not deduct money from Sassa grant recipients.

“We are a sponsor bank to a number of clients who would have contracts or mandates with Sassa account holders.

“We have therefore asked our client to investigate Elliot Jali’s case and give us feedback, which we will gladly share as soon as we receive it,” said Malaza.

Kgomoco Diseko, Sassa national spokesperson said his office has assisted Jali by logging calls and providing reference numbers.

“The reversal of these unauthorised deductions will be done within three working days,” said Diseko.

He advised beneficiaries in a similar situation must lay complaints with Sassa so the issue can be investigated and resolved.

“Sassa wishes to emphasise that it is not in business and therefore does not sell any financial service or product.

“Beneficiaries are reminded to keep their cards and PINs in a safe place and never disclose their personal details, like ID number and or PIN to anybody, even if they claim to be working for Sassa.

“Inquiries should be made on 0800 60 10 11 if beneficiaries are unsure of anything,” said Diseko.

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