Sassa tells Net1 to retract 'misleading' pamphlet

2018-04-26 05:15
Sassa CEO Pearl Bhengu has called on Net1 to retract a “misleading” pamphlet being distributed to social grant recipients. (Barbara Maregele, GroundUp)

Sassa CEO Pearl Bhengu has called on Net1 to retract a “misleading” pamphlet being distributed to social grant recipients. (Barbara Maregele, GroundUp)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

The South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) has given Grindrod Bank and Net1 five days to retract a "misleading" pamphlet being distributed to social grant beneficiaries across the country.

Sassa accounts have for the last six years been held at Grindrod Bank on behalf of Cash Paymaster Services (CPS), which used to pay all the social grants, GroundUp reported on Wednesday.

Net1 is the parent company of CPS and of EasyPay Everywhere (EPE), the company which issues green cards to grant beneficiaries for private bank accounts. Net1 also owns credit provider Moneyline, and beneficiaries wishing to take out a loan are expected to take out a green card.

There are currently more than two million grant beneficiaries with green cards. The number spiked in recent months as the contract between Sassa and CPS drew to an end, with activists warning that Net1 might intend to maintain its loan and other business with grant beneficiaries through the green cards once its contract expired.

The contract ended in March this year.

CPS will continue to manage the distribution of cash payments until September, but the more profitable electronic payments to over five million recipients will now be made by Sassa or the South African Post Office.

'Nobody can force you to change'

The new Sassa Postbank cards are expected to be distributed in May. Beneficiaries will be required to bring the relevant document to their nearest Sassa or Post Office to apply for the new card.

The pamphlet issued by Net1 has a photo of the current Sassa card and the green EPE card on it.

Beneficiaries are told: "You have the right to continue to use your Sassa-branded Grindrod card or your EasyPay Everywhere (green) card for as long as you want to – should you choose to do so."

Next to the photo of the cards is the statement: "Nobody can force you to change from your Sassa-branded Grindrod card or your EasyPay Everywhere (green) card to another bank account", and: "The Sassa-branded Grindrod card does not expire in December 2018."

This is the Net1/Grindrod Bank advert whose withdrawal Sassa has requested.

On April 23, Sassa acting CEO Pearl Bhengu in a letter told Net1 to retract the pamphlet.

In her letter Bhengu referred to the pamphlet as "misleading" because it depicts the EPE card as one of Sassa's banking accounts "of choice".

"The EPE card has not been endorsed and/or backed by Sassa," she said.

Bhengu warned Net1 not to market the EPE cards at Sassa offices or at Sassa cash paypoints.

"The rules which apply to any commercial bank also apply to you as a bank."

"We request that you immediately cease with the distribution of the pamphlet and retract the misleading information together with an apology to the beneficiaries," Bhengu wrote.

Questions sent to Net1 on Tuesday morning were acknowledged but had not been answered by midday on Wednesday.

Read more on:    sassa  |  net1  |  social grants

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.