SASSA cash pay points will be phased out by April 2024, marking a significant shift in the payment landscape for social grant beneficiaries.
Postbank made the announcement this week, revealing that starting April 2024, social grant beneficiaries will no longer have the option to withdraw their funds at Post Offices or cash pay points. This decision is part of the ongoing efforts by the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) and Postbank to streamline the payment process and transition towards a national payment system.
In February, SASSA informed Parliament that 0.8% of grant recipients, comprising 142,000 individuals, still rely on SASSA cash pay points, with an additional 123,000 collecting their grants from Post Office branches. The move to phase out cash paypoints aligns with the decline in their numbers, decreasing from 9,671 to 894 since 2019.
Social grant beneficiaries who prefer cash withdrawals must now use SASSA Gold Cards or Postbank cards at any location that accepts bank cards. Postbank highlighted the reasons behind this shift, citing a lack of capacity and the rising threat of cash-in-transit heists.
Postbank’s decision follows advocacy by the activist organisation Black Sash, which advocates for better accommodation of grant recipients who rely on cash paypoints and post offices. The move raises concerns, especially for rural areas, where alternative means to access grants may pose challenges, including travel costs to commercial centres and potential payment delays.
Evashnee Naidoo, Black Sash Regional Manager for KwaZulu-Natal, expressed concerns about the potential impact on grant beneficiaries, emphasising the need for a sensible transition to ensure continuity and the most efficient, safe, secure, reliable, and convenient payment methods for all recipients.
Picture: X / VOCfm
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