I came home with R70 of my R1140, says social grant beneficiary

2017-10-28 07:00
Social grant beneficiaries protesting outside a pay point on the Cape Flats. (File, GroundUp)

Social grant beneficiaries protesting outside a pay point on the Cape Flats. (File, GroundUp)

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Pietermaritzburg - Some South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) beneficiaries in Pietermaritzburg say they have "given up hope" in getting answers to unexplained deductions from their grants.

Several social grant beneficiaries contacted GroundUp recently to complain after their questions to Sassa about deductions being made on their grants went unanswered.

"[In October] I only got R502. I then started investigating from the pay point site in Snathing," said Mnikathi.

She said her family relied on the grants "to survive" because her children’s father earned very little as a gardener.

He said Mnikathi needed to go back to the moneylender to find out why the deductions are continuing.

He stressed that Sassa "does not offer loans" to grant recipients.

"The only deduction which Sassa may effect on a grant is when the beneficiary requests Sassa to pay the premium for a funeral insurance policy which must not be more than 10% of the grant amount," said Hadebe.

Dlamini said in October she was paid R200 of R1140 for the three child support grants she usually receives.

"I spent the last R30 buying airtime at Game stores in town. I don’t have the energy to investigate any further because it’s not helping," she said.

Update by GroundUp Editor on 1 November 2017

Net1 lodged a complaint against GroundUp with the Press Ombudsman about this article. We did in fact seek comment from Net1, but did not publish it because the response at that time did not, in our view, deal with any of the substantive facts in the article. Furthermore, it is SASSA, not Net1, that holds ultimate responsibility for social grant payments, and it was primarily SASSA’s response we were interested in.

We agreed with the Press Ombudsman and Net1 that it would be fair and reasonable for us to publish the following Net1 response. GroundUp stands by the article. To our knowledge it has no factual errors nor did we violate the press code. The Ombudsman has made no ruling on the matter. However, there may well be different perceptions and values between us, Net1 and the social grant recipients discussed in the article.

Net1 Response

Net 1 UEPS Technologies, parent company of Cash Paymaster Services currently mandated to implement social grants payments on behalf of the South African Social Security Agency, notes with concern the recent article by Ground Up entitled: “I came home with R70 of my R1,140” – SASSA social grant beneficiary - SASSA beneficiaries battle to get recourse for unexplained deduction” published on 27 October 2017.

Regarding the ATM/POS fees on her account - the Call Centre Agent explained to her that she would not incur these fees if she went to a participating merchant such as Shoprite or a SASSA Pay Point.

Read more on:    sassa
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