SASSA has intervened on behalf of social grant beneficiaries who failed to meet the December 15, 2018 deadline for changing over to the new gold SASSA card. According to a statement issued by the South African Post Office, beneficiaries who are still in possession of the old SASSA card, will now be able to access their January grant after obtaining a gold SASSA card.According to the statement, beneficiaries will first have to go to a local SASSA office or selected post office with their old card and ID document to obtain the new gold card. It takes less than five minutes for the card to be issued. The list of post offices that can swap cards is available at www.postoffice.co.za.“We had to put our heads together to come up with a working solution because social assistance is a constitutional right. As a caring government we could not deny our beneficiaries their rights because of a technicality,” said Abraham Mahlangu, SASSA’s acting CEO. “So we just had to cut the red tape and make it happen,” he said. The new gold card offers one free cash withdrawal per month over a post office counter and unlimited free swipes at all retailers to pay for purchases. Any balance will remain in the card and beneficiaries can access it at any time at their convenience. It is necessary to use your PIN when swiping your card at a retailer, however the SA Post Office also caters for beneficiaries who are not comfortable using a PIN. These beneficiaries can present their ID document to make a withdrawal inside the post office branch using biometric authentication instead of a PIN to withdraw funds. The PIN protects the money. Beneficiaries should never give their PIN to anyone, not even a person they trust.Beneficiaries who want to receive their grants through their private bank accounts do not need to get the new SASSA card. This category of beneficiaries does not need to apply for the new card and they will continue to receive their grants through using their private bank accounts.Mahlangu further added, “We also want to urge our beneficiaries to please respond to our messages on time in future.”The partnership between SAPO and SASSA has freed millions of social grants beneficiaries from unauthorised and unwanted deductions, as the new gold Sassa card does not allow any illegal deductions. Beneficiaries can contact SASSA on 0800 601 011.