NATIONAL NEWS - Following a glitch that saw some beneficiaries struggle to access their grants on Monday, the South African Social Services Agency (Sassa) announced that it has identified and resolved the issue.
“Due to a payment system glitch, some beneficiaries have not been able to access their grants today. Sassa has identified and resolved the glitch and the implication of this is that funds will now be released to beneficiaries’ accounts this afternoon after 3pm and can even be accessed from tomorrow, 5 May 2020 going forward,” said the agency in a statement.
Monday was set aside for the disbursement of old-age pension and disability grants while all other grant types will be available from Wednesday, 6 May 2020 onwards.
This comes as the South African Post Office (Sapo) unveiled their first cashless ATM which was launched on Monday in an effort to pay social grants within the premises of Kagiso Trading, GG Location, in Rustenburg.
The launch comes ahead of the process of rolling out cashless ATMs that will serve as additional payment points for the payment of the Sassa grants.
“The launch marks the start of Sapo’s roll-out of more than 10,000 of these cashless ATM devises within spaza shops, township and rural areas’ merchants to avail financial services close to where people live.
“In addition to accessing social grants, customers will be able to use the cashless ATMs to purchase pre-paid electricity and pre-paid airtime, pay municipality bills as well as other bills,” reports the Government News Agency.
Other transactions that can be performed on the ATMs include insurance activations and payments, money transfer, ticketing, transport solutions and balance inquiries.
Deputy Minister in the Presidency Thembi Siweya said this solution would make a contribution in curbing the spread of coronavirus by decongesting the current pay points.
“We support innovative initiatives in society, especially those that will improve service delivery in government. This solution promises to deliver multiple benefits for our society. Among others, it will promote the local economy and empower informal traders, reduce the travelling cost for beneficiaries and decongest the current pay points.”
Upon reaching any spaza shop, township and rural areas’ merchant, where a cashless ATM is installed, a Sassa social grant beneficiary will:
- Insert their Sassa card inside the ATM card slot and use their Sassa card PIN to initiate a transaction (in the same manner as they initiate a transaction from any other bank ATM)
- Select an amount they request to be debited on their Sassa card
- If the debit is successful, the cashless ATM will print out two slips (merchant and customer) confirming the debit
- The customer will hand over the merchant slip to the spaza shop, and in exchange, the merchant will give the customer cash or goods to the value of the withdrawal
Additionally, Sassa said clients using Sapo Sassa cards can go to their nearest post office to get their grant as manual payments can be made at these outlets.
The agency also apologised to all beneficiaries for the inconvenience caused and encouraged beneficiaries who have queries to call the Sassa customer care number on 033 846 3400 or 0800 601011.