SASSA ready for glitch-free payments in August

Monday, July 30, 2018

Following system glitches during the July payment to grant beneficiaries which resulted in late payments, the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) has assured beneficiaries that August will be smooth sailing.

“The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) is ready for the August payment cycle at technical and human resource level. This comes after the July system got marred by system glitches that affected 700 000 of the 12 million beneficiaries that SASSA provides with social grants. The problem affected beneficiaries who use the new SASSA gold card,” said SASSA.

Although SASSA had paid money into all the accounts, the beneficiaries could not withdraw their money due to a systems overload.

According to SASSA, the South African Post Office (SAPO) system could not handle the huge number of transactions that it had to process notwithstanding that tests had been done on the system.

“To resolve this problem, SASSA sought the assistance of all institutions working in the banking sector of the economy. At the moment the infrastructure linking SAPO and the Bankserv payment clearing house has been massively optimized. The line speed used by SAPO to process transactions now has the capacity to process 160 transactions per second,” said SASSA.

All affected beneficiaries have since been paid for the July cycle.

Beneficiaries urged to get new SASSA gold card

With a September deadline to facilitate a card swap for beneficiaries, SASSA runs a daily campaign of swapping the old cards for the new SASSA gold card.

The social security agency has appealed to beneficiaries to get the new SASSA card.

“Beneficiaries should ensure that by the end of August, they have acquired the new SASSA card because the old one is expiring in September 2018. The new SASSA card is an improvement of the old card and it does not allow deductions for things such as airtime, loans or prepaid electricity among others,” said SASSA.

The new card also allows three free cash withdrawals at points of sale, one free withdrawal at the post office per month, free swipes at points of sale and it is accepted all ATM’s displaying the VISA sign.

“SASSA is appealing to all beneficiaries in possession of the new SASSA gold cards not to visit cash pay points to claim their social grants during from 1 August to 30 September 2018 because the cards don’t use fingerprints to verify identity. These cards use a PIN and can be used at ATM’s, Post Offices and merchant stores,” said the social security agency.

Although funds become available from the 1st of every month, beneficiaries can choose any other date to withdraw their funds.

“We are acutely aware of the harsh financial realities of our times which drive beneficiaries to want to receive their grants on the first day.

“However, we urge our beneficiaries to withdraw their grant monies at their own convenient time as the payment cycle stretches over two weeks until the 15th of each month,” said Acting CEO of SASSA Abraham Mahlangu.

As the contract with Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) comes to an end on 30 September. SASSA filed an application in the Constitutional court detailing how SASSA and SAPO staff were prevented from performing their card swap duties by CPS staff at paypoints recently.

“We are confident that the court will grant us relief, given the overwhelming evidence we presented. We hope these distractions won’t happen during the August payment cycle and beneficiaries will obtain their new SASSA cards without any hindrance,” said SASSA.

Beneficiaries with queries can contact SASSA toll free on 0800 60 10 11 or inbox SASSA on social media. - SAnews.gov.za

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