Policy takes and takes

2015-06-09 06:01

Deductions from an already depleted monthly income have residents from Phumlani Village in Lotus River reeling in anger.

Resident Virginia Oliphant (34), who is concerned for her mother’s financial well-being, says people are being exploited for their grant money.

“My mother signed up for this funeral policy but I don’t think everything was explained properly to her,” Oliphant says.

She adds her 56-year-old mother received documentation stating that monthly deductions would reflect on her Sassa card.

“They state in the documentation that only R90 will be deducted every month,. This has since changed and we want to know why,” Oliphant questions.

According to the family, the company, known only as One Wise, came to the area about three months ago.

“Since then there has only been one deduction of R90 which happened in the first month. After that there were varying amounts of R120 and R280 charged to my mother’s account,” Oliphant explains.

“I asked around and realised something was fishy when more people came forward to say that more money was also deducted form their accounts. These people are being charged up to R300 and R400 a month.”

Oliphant adds she feels the vulnerable of the community were targeted.

“We want the deductions to stop. It is unfair that they are losing their money to a company that sold their product under false pretences,” Oliphant says.

Community worker Paul Phillips says he was also approached by residents to assist.

“These people are being robbed of their money by a company that now doesn’t want to pay back the money people are losing through the deductions,” Phillips says.

He adds attempts to reach the company have proved unsuccessful.

“We even went to the Sassa offices but were met with unsatisfactory results there as well. We were told that payments made to beneficiaries are loaded onto their cards and whatever happens after payment has been made is on the cardholder’s onus,” Phillips says.

Oliphant says they were only provided with a consultant’s name but no contact number.

“We tried to find out how to stop this but the representative is nowhere to be found. There is only one other contact number and that is to make claims,” she says.

Despite numerous efforts by People’s Post to get comment from Sassa and the company known as One Wise, no answer was received at the time of going to print.V

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