Recent damage to ATMs in Harding, Souther KwaZulu-Natal as as looting and civil unrest gripped South Africa. Photo: Courtesy of Mark Gallagher.
Recent damage to ATMs in Harding, Souther KwaZulu-Natal as as looting and civil unrest gripped South Africa. Photo: Courtesy of Mark Gallagher.

Banks plan for Sassa grant pay points in wake of infrastructure damage

By Philippa Larkin Time of article published Jul 30, 2021

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RECENT damage to ATMs in Harding, southern KwaZulu-Natal, as looting and civil unrest gripped South Africa.

BANKS had made contingency plans for the payment of social security grants and salaries at the end of the month, in the wake of extensive damage to the infrastructure of banks in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) and parts of Gauteng in the recent unrest, the Banking Association of South Africa (Basa) said yesterday.

More than 1 400 automatic teller machines (ATMs) and 269 bank branches were vandalised or destroyed in the unrest.

It said banks, retailers and the South African Post Office were working with the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa), which distributed 2 012 894 old-age pensions, child support and disability grants in Gauteng and 2 669 885 in KZN.

Basa said to assist social grant recipients who lived in areas where ATMs, and branches had been destroyed, customers would be able to use any ATM, including those not operated by their own bank, without incurring additional charges, from August 1 to September 30.

Banks were still in the process of assessing the damage to their infrastructure and developing recovery plans, the organisation said, adding that the average replacement cost of an ATM in South Africa was R385 000, with additional installation costs, while costs of refurbishing bank branches were a lot higher.

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