More than 1.8m social grants beneficiaries migrated to new Sassa card

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Communications Minister Nomvula Mokonyane. (Lisa Hnatowicz, Gallo Images, Beeld, file)
Communications Minister Nomvula Mokonyane. (Lisa Hnatowicz, Gallo Images, Beeld, file)

More than 1.8 million social grants beneficiaries have been migrated to the new gold SA Social Security Agency (Sassa) card, the Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) on Comprehensive Social Security announced on Thursday.

The IMC was briefing the media on the implementation of a Constitutional Court order, which relates to the payment of social grants.

The court gave Sassa until September 31 to end its contract with Cash Paymaster Services (CPS), which facilitates cash payments to 2.5 million beneficiaries.

READ: CPS to get the boot from Sassa offices by end of July, MPs told

On April 1, the South African Post Office (SAPO) took over the contract from CPS for the distribution of social grants. This excluded cash grants.

Communications Minister Nomvula Mokonyane said they had made "great progress" in implementing the court's order.

Mokonyane said the partnership between Sassa and SAPO had reached a level of stability.

Certainty and confidence

According to her, both organisations had signed legal agreements on June 19 - which would provide a legal framework for how they would work together during the transitional period.

She added that there was certainty and confidence in the implementation of the new card system.

Beneficiaries experienced problems with the electronic payment of their social grants and some were advised to take a portion of their grants.

The system was also unable to deal with large volumes of transactions that they received as a result of the increased uptake of card swaps.

But Mokonyane said they had reached a milestone of more than a million people, who were successfully migrated from the old CPS card to the new SAPO card, issued by the post office as a preferred payment channel for all social grants.

Mokonyane said Sassa and SAPO planned to migrate all social grants beneficiaries who receive grants in cash at the CPS pay points by the end of August.

This was to ensure that the government complied with the Constitutional Court order extending the CPS contract to September 30.

Social Development Minister Susan Shabangu said they had also taken legal action against CPS employees who interfered with migration progress.

Those who had been paid through Grindrod Bank have paid R10 since April to access their grants.

Shabangu said they had also taken Grindrod Bank to court over the deduction.

Mokonyane said the new gold Sassa card was designed to protect social grants beneficiaries from illegal deductions.

She said the only deductions that are permitted on the new gold Sassa card will be for funeral policies and non-child grants, which should also not be more than 10% of the total grant.

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