SASSA Makes Great Strides Towards Insourcing Grant Payments

One of the key goals of the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) is to manage and pay social grants without the use of a third party contractor as is currently the case. SASSA is on course to achieving this goal of ensuring that payment of social grants is insourced. It has already made direct transfers into approximately 2,4 million personal bank accounts for the month of March 2018. This file is processed for payment through National Treasury to Bankserv for payment from SASSA’s own Paymaster General Account.

In March, SASSA paid an amount of over R2,6 billion to those beneficiaries who receive their grants from their commercial bank accounts. The beneficiaries involved in this exercise are about 2.4 million and are paid directly without using CPS infrastructure after the function was taken over from CPS. The rest of the remaining 8.4 million beneficiaries will be paid through the various outlets using ATM’s, Point of Sale devices and in cash at SASSA paypoints.

As compared to the month of February, a growth of about 140 000 has been realised in terms of beneficiaries choosing to use the commercial bank payment channel. In March, SASSA will also test its capacity to directly pay the rest of the beneficiaries using ATM’s and Point of Sale (POS) at different outlets without using CPS infrastructure. A total of 100 000 beneficiaries who transact at ATM’s and POS devices using their SASSA card will have their money deposited into their SASSA cards directly by SASSA in March as part of the test that will be run. If this test is successful, the only beneficiaries who will not fall under SASSA direct payments in the short term will be close to 2.9 million who are currently paid in cash at the more than 9 000 pay points throughout the country. SASSA has already issued a tender for a contractor to assist with these cash payments and the appointment will be made in due course.

Beneficiaries of social grants are advised to ignore agents who claim that the current SASSA card has expire and is being replaced by another card. There is only one SASSA card, and it is the one which has the government coat of arms on. People who are marketing their own products under the guide of these being the “new SASSA card” don’t have good intentions but use misinformation to try and burden the poor with unnecessary debt through the sale of financial products. The current SASSA card will still be valid until December 2018 and there is currently no need for beneficiaries to move to another card.

SASSA will inform beneficiaries about the need to change the SASSA card in the future. However, in the meantime, all beneficiaries are reassured that the current SASSA card will continue to work.

Every social grant beneficiary is also advised that it is a personal choice whether to have their social grant paid into a personal bank account. Any beneficiary who wants their grants to be paid directly into their bank account must provide details of their personal bank account to SASSA. Every holder of any personal bank account, must ensure that they have completed the “Request for bank payment form” and returned this to their nearest SASSA office. This form is available on the SASSA website and at SASSA offices. Payment of a social grant into a bank account is most convenient. If you want to change, please contact your nearest SASSA office or phone 0800 60 10 11 for more information

Letters advising holders of the Easy Pay Everywhere accounts, or green cards as commonly known, have been sent letters by SASSA. They are requested to respond to those letters urgently. The form attached to the letters must be completed and returned to the nearest SASSA office. Beneficiaries who are not sure about the information being provided should call the SASSA toll-free number on 0800 60 10 11 for any queries.