Great strides made towards insourcing grant payments

Friday, March 2, 2018

The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) is on course to achieving one of its key goals to manage and pay social grants without the use of a third party contractor.

SASSA spokesperson Paseka Letsatsi said the agency has already made direct transfers into approximately 2.4 million personal bank accounts for March 2018. Letsatsi said this was processed for payment through National Treasury to Bankserv for payment from SASSA’s own Paymaster General Account.

R2.6 billion paid to beneficiaries 

In March, SASSA paid an amount of over R2.6 billion to beneficiaries who receive their grants from their commercial bank accounts.

“The beneficiaries involved in this exercise are about 2.4 million and are paid directly without using CPS (Cash Paymaster Services) infrastructure after the function was taken over from CPS. The remaining 8.4 million beneficiaries will be paid through the various outlets using automated teller machines (ATM), Point of Sale (POS) devices and in cash at SASSA pay points.

“Compared to the month of February, a growth of about 140 000 has been realised in terms of beneficiaries choosing to use the commercial bank payment channel. In March, SASSA will also test its capacity to directly pay the rest of the beneficiaries using ATMs and POS at different outlets without using CPS infrastructure,” Letsatsi said.

He said 100 000 beneficiaries, who transact at ATMs and POS devices using their SASSA cards, will have their money deposited into their SASSA cards directly by SASSA in March, as part of the test that will be run.

“If this test is successful, the only beneficiaries who will not fall under SASSA direct payments in the short term will be close to 2.9 million, who are currently paid in cash at the more than 9 000 pay points throughout the country. SASSA has already issued a tender for a contractor to assist with these cash payments and the appointment will be made in due course,” Letsatsi said.

No replacement of current SASSA card

Meanwhile, beneficiaries of social grants are advised to ignore agents who claim that the current SASSA card has expired and is being replaced by another card.

Letsatsi emphasised that there is only one SASSA card, and it has the government Coat of Arms. 

He warned that people who are marketing their own products under the guide of the “new SASSA card” don’t have good intentions, but use misinformation to try and burden the poor with unnecessary debt through the sale of financial products.

“The current SASSA card will still be valid until December 2018 and there is currently no need for beneficiaries to move to another card. SASSA will inform beneficiaries about the need to change the SASSA card in the future.  However, in the meantime, all beneficiaries are reassured that the current SASSA card will continue to work,” Letsatsi said.

He said every social grant beneficiary has a personal choice whether to have their social grant paid into a personal bank account or not. 

“Any beneficiary who wants their grants to be paid directly into their bank account must provide details of their personal bank account to SASSA. Every holder of any personal bank account, must ensure that they have completed the ‘Request for bank payment form’, and return it to their nearest SASSA office.

“The form is available on the SASSA website and at SASSA offices. Payment of a social grant into a bank account is most convenient.  If you want to change, please contact your nearest SASSA office or phone 0800 60 10 11 for more information,” Letsatsi said.

Letsatsi said letters advising holders of the Easy Pay Everywhere accounts or green cards, as commonly known, have been sent by SASSA.

Holders are requested to respond to the letters urgently, and complete the form attached to the letters and return them to the nearest SASSA office.

Beneficiaries who are not sure about the information being provided should call SASSA toll free number on 0800 60 10 11 for any queries. –

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