Sassa paypoints ran out of cash - report

The appeals court in Bloemfontein will today hear the arguments for and against the deductions of amounts other than just one funeral policy payments on social grants.
The appeals court in Bloemfontein will today hear the arguments for and against the deductions of amounts other than just one funeral policy payments on social grants.
Image: MARK ANDREWS

Some of the SA Social Security Agency (Sassa) pay points did not have enough cash to pay grant beneficiaries at the end of last month.

This was revealed in a monthly report by Sassa sent to the Constitutional Court for the end of last month.

In the report, Sassa acting CEO Abraham Mahlangu told the court there were still problems with the transition from the contract between the agency and Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) to the SA Post Office integrated grants payment system.

Mahlangu said there were problems with the manual counting of cash; insufficient cash as a result of inaccurate projections at paypoints and limited cash denominations.

"There were reported robberies at some of the post office branches. The government security cluster has been approached to strengthen security in high-risk areas," Mahlangu said.

Some beneficiaries had multiple cards and were confused as to which account the grant was deposited into, he said. The report further showed that a number of beneficiaries forgot their pins as most did not use PINs in the old system at pay points.

Sassa also received complaints about long queues at post office branches and some pay points. "There were also concerns that some of the facilities were not conducive to rendering effective, dignified services as there were no waiting areas and ablution facilities," Mahlangu said.

The post office has since contracted a company to provide these services.

The Constitutional Court instructed Sassa in March to provide monthly reports on the progress of moving the payment of millions of social grants into a Sassa-SA Post Office payment system.

CPS was responsible for the payment of 3.16-million beneficiaries in April.

"The number was reduced progressively over the past five months mainly through the card swapping process to 221 599 beneficiaries in September 2018. Based on October 2018 payment extraction report, Sassa can confirm that all cash beneficiaries have been migrated to the SA Post Office and commercial banks," said Mahlangu.

CPS and Grindrod Bank have since provided Sassa with a list of identity numbers of beneficiaries who still use the old Sassa card. Sassa plans to decommission all the Sassa-Grinrod bank-issued cards by end of December.

Mahlangu added that in September alone, over 1-million people migrated to the new card and other grant beneficiaries chose to be paid through banks.

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