Human rights movement Black Sash said it was gravely concerned by the number of state grant recipients not in possession of the new Sassa gold cards. Picture: Simphiwe Mbokazi African News Agency/ANA
Cape Town - Human rights movement Black Sash said it was gravely concerned by the number of state grant recipients not in possession of the new SA Post Office or SA Social Security Agency card.

It said it begged the questions as to how they were surviving because they may depend on the grants as a lifeline to meet their daily needs.

Black Sash advocacy manager Hoodah Abrahams-Fayker said more effort needed to be made to ensure the remaining number of beneficiaries were migrated to the special disbursement account of the Sassa/Sapo card so they could benefit from free services.

Post Office spokesperson Martie Gilchrist said it was not experiencing challenges with the issuing of Sassa cards.

However, Gilchrist said beneficiaries were asked to swop their old cards to the new gold Sassa card by the end of December last year.

“There are currently in excess of 7.7 million Postbank-Sassa (Sassa gold card) account holders and during the March 2019 payments period (from 1 to 28 March 2019), 14.4 million transactions were completed successfully by beneficiaries using the Postbank-Sassa cards,” Gilchrist said.

She said the new gold Sassa card had many benefits such as one free withdrawal per month as well as prevention of illegal deductions. This follows a week after Sassa had announced that 99 000 beneficiaries had not yet collected the new gold Sassa card.

Sassa acting chief executive Abraham Mahlangu said it was quite concerning that given the fact that failure to collect the new card on time was to deny yourself a constitutional right to social security.

Sassa spokesperson Paseka Letsatsi said it and Post Office employees have gone the extra mile and conducted home visits on request “to beneficiaries who were unable to visit their offices due to ill-health”.

Letsatsi said beneficiaries were urged to report to Sassa in person or call its toll free number 080 060 1011 if they needed any assistance in collecting their new cards.

“The public is also urged to report any cases of fraud related to grants and Sassa will protect their families.”

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Cape Argus