The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) is ready for the October payment cycle in which all social grant payments to beneficiaries will be made by itself in partnership with the South African Post Office (SAPO).
Cash Paymaster Services (CPS), which is a Net1 subsidiary, is currently responsible for paying less than 10% of beneficiaries this month and its contract ends at the end of September.
In phasing out CPS at the end of the month, SASSA will be in full compliance with directions of the Constitutional Court and there will be no need to ask for another extension, contrary to what sceptics predicted.
With 18 days to go before the September payment cycle is concluded, SASSA has already paid over R6-billion to 92% of its beneficiaries this month, which is a clear sign that government will manage to insource the service of grant payments from October going forward.
Transactions have largely taken place at merchants through Point of Sale (POS) devices and over the counter at post office outlets. Withdrawals from bank ATMs have reduced significantly during this month (only 10%), as compared to August.
At the moment the bulk of outstanding payments are the ones done in cash at SASSA pay points which will be finished in record time.
Beneficiaries should ensure that by the end of September, they have acquired the new SASSA card, because the old one is expiring in September. 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.
This new card also allows three free cash withdrawals at points of sale, one free withdrawal at the post office a month, free swipes at points of sale and accepted by all ATMs displaying the VISA sign.
These developments coincide with Wednesday’s decision of the Concourt to dismiss the SASSA application for an order declaring the actions of CPS as contempt of court.
SASSA took this stand after CPS and other Net1 company employees had been reported by community members for disruptive behaviour at its pay points. The court did not award any costs.
SASSA, however, accepts the decision of the Concourt and finds comfort in the fact that the CPS contract is coming to an end this month and that a significant number of beneficiaries have managed to acquire the new gold SASSA card.
Beneficiaries who wish to query anything related to their grants can call SASSA toll free on 0800 60 10 11.