The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) has noted with concern the increasing number of fake SMSes that are being circulated to beneficiaries. In a recent incident the Agency has received reports that beneficiaries received an SMS instructing them to re-register their social grants because cash paypoints will be fully phased-out by August 2018.
The Fake SMS reads as follows: “All Sassa recipients, please you have to re-register yourself for Sassa payments. From 1st of June. There is will be no paypoints anymore. Each 1 has to apply by post office or a bank of your choice. So please collect application forms by office from the 1st of June to take to bank or post office your choice. If you do not re register you will not get paid in August or thereafter. Please share with all state pensioners. Thank you.”
Contents of this SMS are misleading and cause unnecessary confusion and panic among social grant beneficiaries. Beneficiaries are urged to ignore this message as it is incorrect.
Contrary to this SMS, beneficiaries do not have to re-register their grants; however they are requested to swap their old SASSA cards for the new SASSA card by end of September 2018. This can be done at local SASSA offices, paypoints or selected Post Offices. Furthermore, SASSA would like to clarify that cash paypoints will be gradually reduced (not fully phased out as alleged in the SMS). Where a paypoint is within 5km radius of a Post Office, the Post Office will take over payments for that paypoint.
Beneficiaries can also choose whichever method of payment that they are comfortable with. They can opt for their social grant to be deposited directly into their personal bank account (including PostBank) or they can use their SASSA cards to withdraw at ATMS and merchants (e.g Pick n Pay, Shoprite etc).
Should a beneficiary choose to have their grant deposited directly into their personal bank account they should go to the SASSA office where they registered their grant and request for an Annexure C form. This form must be completed by their bank of choice and returned to SASSA.
SASSA reiterates that beneficiaries will continue to receive their social grants beyond August 2018. The Agency will further endeavour to ensure that the transition of beneficiaries from cash paypoints to electronic methods of payments happens smoothly and without any hassles.
Reacting to news of this fake SMS Minister of Social Development, Susan Shabangu, urged beneficiaries to be aware of such messages. She further encouraged beneficiaries to contact the SASSA toll-free line on 0800 60 10 11 or visit their nearest SASSA office if ever in doubt about any message they receive.