Sassa urges patience, assures beneficiaries grants will be paid despite difficulties

Sassa head office (Alet Pretorius, Gallo Images, file)
Sassa head office (Alet Pretorius, Gallo Images, file)

Social grant beneficiaries who draw their money at ATMs might have to wait a little longer to access it.

On Tuesday, the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) assured those who experienced problems with electronic payments on Monday that they would be paid in full - within the next few days.

"What is being experienced is a result of a process of changing from an old to a new payment system for social grants. Sassa is also in a process of phasing out Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) as directed by the Constitutional Court and introducing the South African Post Office (SAPO) to pay social grants," said acting Sassa CEO Abraham Mahlangu.

READ: Sassa warns of increase in fake SMSes doing the rounds

He assured beneficiaries that their social grants would be paid in full.  

"We request beneficiaries to give themselves at least three days to withdraw their grants."

Sassa asked beneficiaries who access their funds through ATMs to first pick the savings account option when withdrawing their money. If this is rejected, then the cheque account option should be selected.

"Sassa wishes to apologise for the inconvenience caused to the beneficiaries," said Mahlangu.

Sassa and SAPO are working tirelessly to find a solution to this problem and ensure that all beneficiary services are restored in the shortest possible time. We further undertake to keep our beneficiaries informed."

Sassa workers strike

While Sassa deals with the social grant payment difficulties, it is also taking the Public Servants Association (PSA) to the Labour Court over a strike at the Sassa offices. This will be opposed by PSA.

"They are oblivious that the poor are going to suffer," the PSA's Tahir Maepa told News24 on Monday.

He said the association had hoped to resolve the pay dispute.

Instead, it received court papers on Monday to say that the Department of Social Development would apply for an interdict to stop the strike.

The matter is expected to be heard in the Labour Court in Johannesburg on Tuesday.

READ: Striking PSA workers taken to Labour Court

Sassa head of communication Paseka Letsatsi told News24 that the social development department filed the court interdict on Monday.

The strike action comes after the PSA and Sassa could not agree on pay increases.

The PSA tabled its demands on February 1 at the Sassa National Bargaining Forum. These included a single-term agreement with a general sliding-scale salary increase of between 13% and 15%.

The union also wants issues related to housing, leave, post establishment, danger allowances, performance management and the insourcing of certain services to be discussed.

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