Picture: David Ritchie/ANA Pictures
Cape Town - The SA Post Office (Sapo) said the transfer of 1 million social grant beneficiaries from the outgoing Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) card to the new SA Social Security Agency (Sassa) card has been completed.

But with 9 million more beneficiaries to go before September, the transfer has not been smooth.

Sapo chief operating officer Lindiwe Kwele said the first million beneficiaries did not include those willingly opting to take Postbank Mzansi accounts.

But Black Sash Western Cape regional manager Amanda Ismail said beneficiaries were not willingly opting for the alternative accounts - they were misled while applying for their new cards.

“There is confusion with regards to Post Bank cards and the new Sassa card. Some beneficiaries don’t know the difference.

“A lot are opening the post office card which is not the Sassa cards.

“They expect their grant to be automatically paid onto the Post Bank card, which is not the case.

“There is also a huge campaign for people to open the Easy Pay Everywhere (EPE) card.

“Because of the confusion between which card to get, people are getting those cards,” said Ismail.

Ismail said Black Sash had been monitoring the situation and found that despite CPS being phased out in favour of the new Sassa card, CPS was campaigning at Sassa paypoints and encouraging users to get the EPE card.

Ismail said there was not much communication on the ground from Sapo about how beneficiaries could transfer and get the new card.

She said CPS was possibly trying to stay in the loop of the grant by still offering beneficiaries their card.

Kwele acknowledged that people had been persuaded to accept cards other than the new Sassa cards, which she said could have illegal deductions.

“We have seen people being unwittingly persuaded to accept other cards only to realise later that they will be charged all sorts of exorbitant fees.

“The new gold Sassa card guarantees you will not be debited with a monthly service fee of R10, or illegal deductions for loans, airtime or electricity.

“The Post Office and Sassa have deployed teams throughout the country where dedicated temporary card swop sites are established using existing infrastructure such as municipality halls to expedite the migration to the new card.

“This will ensure as many people as possible are put on to the new Sassa cards before the end of August,” said Kwele.

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Cape Argus