THE South African Post Office (SAPO) has successfully paid more than five million South African Social Security social grant recipients this month, as more than six million beneficiaries converted to the new SASSA cards.
SAPO chief operating officer and executive responsible for the daily implementation of the entity’s social grant payments, Lindiwe Kwele, said that SAPO is confident regarding its smooth takeover of the SASSA social grant payments on September 30, when the contract for Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) expires.
“To date, SAPO has paid over 97% of the 5.4 million social grant recipients whose grants were transferred into the new SASSA card. Payment is still ongoing at SASSA cash pay-points in line with the payment schedules,” Kwele said.
According to SAPO, 76% of the August grant payments were finalised in the first week of September, which ended on September 7, this year, and over one million of these transactions were carried out over the counter inside a post office. The August payment run was SAPO’s third since its ground-breaking state-led agreement with SASSA which was concluded in December 2017.
“The data demonstrates that to date, a total of 6.5 million automated teller machine (ATM) transactions were carried out during September, while merchant purchases and withdrawals transactions totalled 4.4 million. The almost-equal split between ATM and POS transactions, coupled with the in-branch transaction volumes, signals grant recipients’ exploration of all the available channels, and this behaviour is earlier than expected,” she said.
SAPO is in its final week of cash payments to just over 300 000 social grant recipients in 1 213 payment points that are situated in areas that do not have post offices within reach, or any national payment infrastructure points.
“Over 200 000 of these social grant recipients 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,” Kwele explained.
To date, the new cards have been issued 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,” she said.
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.