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State will provide insight into Sassa payment breakdown

Elderly, physically disabled, child support grants affected

Pensioners flocked to the Marshaltown Post Office in Johannesburg to receive their SASSA grants only to leave empty handed.
Pensioners flocked to the Marshaltown Post Office in Johannesburg to receive their SASSA grants only to leave empty handed.
Image: Thulani Mbele

After Postbank's technical glitches that resulted in social grant recipients not receiving their money, the government says it will now provide insight into what caused the breakdown.  

Minister of social development Lindiwe Zulu and her communications and digital technologies counterpart, Mondli Gungubele, are scheduled to address the matter in a joint press briefing to be held in Tshwane on Thursday.

The pair is expected to present plans from both the SA Social Security Agency and Postbank, to prevent similar incidents from happening in future. 

Thousands of social grant beneficiaries across the country were left disheartened last week after their funds were stalled by Postbank’s new malfunctioning payment system, declining withdrawals.

The problem has still not been sorted out with some beneficiaries saying they were turned away from Marshalltown Post Office because it had run out of money. 

Grant recipient Stella Makhubu, 77, told Sowetan that she spent two days trying to collect her old age grant, without any success. 

“I have grandchildren who are waiting for me to bring something home, waiting for me to eat and I have been waiting here at Pick n Pay trying to get my money,” she said. 

Pat Zungu, 80, said he had to borrow R50 for taxi fare after his card was declined at retail stores. 

“Now, if I don’t get the money...  I’ll be forced to go to loan sharks and the problem is that they take your card and they have high interest rates,” he said. 

Postbank attributed the countrywide breakdown to a system migration fault that saw withdrawals being declined at ATMs and retail shops.  

The affected included the elderly, the physically disabled as well as those receiving the child support grant.

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