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Post Office to Stop Paying SASSA Grant Recipients in Cash

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Post Office to Stop Paying SASSA Grant Recipients in Cash

Post Office to Stop Paying SASSA Grant Recipients in Cash. People have long used cash transactions to buy groceries, pay for transportation, or purchase essentials from local markets. In recent weeks, the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) has announced a shift in how grant beneficiaries are able to access cash.

Post Office to Stop Paying SASSA Grant Recipients in Cash

Discontinuation of Cash Withdrawals at Post Offices

Postbank and Sassa have released a joint statement stating that Sassa grant recipients will no longer be able to withdraw cash from Post Offices. As part of a phased plan to eliminate physical cash payment points (CPPs) by March 2024, this change will affect 19 million permanent grants, including Older Persons pension grants and Disability grants.

Phased Transition and the Reasons Behind the Decision

With the transition away from cash payments, grant distributions will be more secure, efficient, and reliable. With this decision, the Post Office aims to address challenges such as cash-in-transit heists, unfavorable conditions at CPP sites, and capacity limitations.

Alternative Methods for Grant Beneficiaries

Post Office branches will continue to offer non-cash services, such as card-related services, but cash payments to grant recipients will cease. Grant recipients can now withdraw cash from ATMs or select retailers such as Boxer, Pick N Pay, Spar, Shoprite, Usave, and Checkers.

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Utilizing Sassa Gold Cards at Non-Post Office Locations

Sassa Gold cardholders using CPPs and Post Office branches are encouraged to use their cards at any establishment accepting bank cards, including retailers with point-of-sale systems or ATMs with cash-back features.

See also  SASSA Disability Grant For 2024

Concerns and Criticisms

A civil society organization, Black Sash, criticizes Sassa’s decision despite its assurance that 98% of beneficiaries already use alternative methods. They argue that insufficient research and consideration was given to the impact on pensioners and disabled individuals in rural areas, citing concerns about increased transport costs and withdrawal fees.

Post Office Financial Struggles

A R6 billion loss over three years has been reported by the Post Office, which coincides with the announcement. As part of a business rescue plan, 420 loss-making branches are set to close, and 6,000 employees may face retrenchment, raising the potential need for a R3.8 billion government bailout.

Sassa Gold Card Validity

The Sassa Gold cards will remain valid and operational throughout 2024, ensuring grant beneficiaries can continue to use them without renewal.

Conclusion

The shift away from cash payments for Sassa grant beneficiaries signifies a strategic move towards enhanced security and efficiency. Despite concerns, the transition aims to provide continued support, emphasizing alternative methods and the ongoing validity of Sassa gold cards.

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