Beneficiaries urged to use alternative payment methods

Friday, July 24, 2009

Pretoria - The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) has urged all social grant beneficiaries to consider using different payment methods which would help to reduce the long queues at pay-point stations.

SASSA's Communications Manager, Kelemogile Moseki, said the agency is concerned about the unfavourable conditions at various pay-points, where vulnerable people have to suffer due to long queues.

"Beneficiaries, especially in villages and rural areas, are forced to wait the whole day at the pay-points, where they don't have facilities like water supply, loos, chairs, shelter and bad weather conditions," Mr Moseki told BuaNews.

Mr Moseki encouraged the beneficiaries, especially young people, who get child support grants, to use either the post offices, banks or pay-points as other options to access their monthly payments.

"The larger number of our beneficiaries who are young and healthy can consider these options.

"We particularly appeal to beneficiaries residing in urban, peri-urban areas where electronic payment facilities such as post office, banks or ATMs are easily accessible to move their payments to either one of these methods of payment," he said.

He noted that apart from long queues at the pay-points, using the other alternatives will help in reducing robbery at the pay-points and also encourage people to save money.

"We also want to create a culture of saving and ensure that they move away from temptation because at the bank you can withdraw only the amount you need.

"At the pay-points, they get all the money and end up spending it all on their way home without saving anything, unlike having bank accounts, whereby they will also be able to save the extra money they get elsewhere," said Mr Moseki.

Responding to concerns by most beneficiaries regarding the bank charges, Mr Moseki said the agency is busy engaging with the banks to have packages for beneficiaries, where they will be charged less for transactions.

"ABSA has agreed to decrease the charges. We are still engaging with other banks and hope that they will also follow the same directions, he said.