Post Office and Sassa issues ironed out

THE South African Post Office (Sapo) is confident about a smooth takeover of the South Africa Social Security Agency (Sassa) social grants payments on September 30 when the cash payment services contract expires.

To date, the Post Office has paid 97% of the 5.4 million social grant recipients whose use the new gold Sassa card. Payment is still ongoing at Sassa cash pay-points in line with the payment schedules. They also state 76% of the August grants payments were finalised in the first week of September (that ended on Friday, 7 September).

The August payment run is Sapo’s third since the state-led agreement with Sassa was concluded in December 2017.

Sapo Chief executive officer, and the executive responsible for the implementation of the entity’s social grants payments, Lindiwe Kwele said: “The partnership between Sapo and Sassa benefits millions of social grants beneficiaries, as they are now freed from practices such as unwanted deductions.”

The data for the August pay run demonstrates that, up to 19 September, beneficiaries did 6.5 million ATM transactions and 4.4 million transactions at merchants.

“The almost-equal split between ATM and point of sales transactions, coupled with the in-branch transaction volumes, shows that grant recipients are using all the available channels. This behaviour is earlier than expected,” says Kwele.

The Post Office is now in its final week of cash payments to just over 300 000 social grants recipients at 1213 payment points. These are in areas that do not have a post office within reach or any national payment infrastructure points.

Over 200 000 social grants recipients in these isolated areas have already been successfully paid via Sapo’s mobile units with the remainder due to be paid in the next week in line with Sassa’s payment schedule.

To date, the Post Office and Sassa have issued the new gold Sassa cards to more than 6.5 million grant recipients.

Social grants beneficiaries that have not changed to the new Sassa cards can do so at a Sassa office or Post Office.

People that took on cards from other institutions, such as the banks, can also swap to the new gold Sassa card.

The following aspects of the current payment solution are already in the control of the state, via Sassa and Sapo, which was not the case with the previous service provider:

• Sassa and Sapo have full access to the beneficiary data.

• Sassa and Sapo have full access and ownership of biometric data.

• Sapo and Sassa own the Visa Scheme certification for all the cards issued.

• Sassa and Sapo have full control of the transactional data.

• Sassa and Sapo have full ownership of the Sassa BIN. No other product is using the same BIN.

— Supplied.

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