Following a technical glitch that saw thousands of pensioners returning home empty handed and without their social grants last week, the Postbank on Monday said it was still busy with reversing funds into customers’ accounts.
This as some elderly people have been unable to withdraw money from retailers and ATMs since last Tuesday.
Postbank spokesperson, Bongani Diako, said they were reversing money into the accounts of beneficiaries who were impacted by the system error, and their accounts reflecting insufficient funds.
“This is mainly in relation to the people that attempted transactions on Tuesday and early Wednesday.
“The count is approximately 180 000 and we have done manual reversals for over 150 000 and that process is under way.
“We sincerely apologise for this incident that affected many and Postbank takes full accountability.
“The migration to a more robust and compliant banking system in August triggered this incident.
“The payment system is now more stable, the only payment concern that we are addressing is reversing money to beneficiaries that are still to get their money and we anticipate that this will be concluded before the end of this week,” he said.
Co-ordinator for #PayTheGrants, Elizabeth Raiters, said the “technical glitch” was not the first incident.
“This happens a lot. It’s an ongoing situation with the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) and it seems they are not bothered.
“We are disgusted with this because these are people’s lives and they really seem not to care.
“Sassa doesn’t have the interest of people at heart. It’s not even like the money is enough for the whole month, it’s another thing when that little amount is even taken away from them. This is cruel. Our social development just doesn’t care and they can’t even hide it,” she said.
Sassa referred questions to Postbank on Monday, while the Department of Social Development did not comment by deadline.
Human rights organisation, Black Sash, said payment issues have dragged on since November 2022, when Postbank took over the payment of grants from the SA Post Office (Sapo).
Director Rachel Bukasa said from the start, Postbank’s system was not designed to adequately administer the payment of social grants.
“We worry that there was a failure by the Department of Social Development and Sassa, prior to partnering with Postbank, to do proper due diligence to determine whether Postbank had the capacity, expertise and infrastructure to administer the payment of social grants.
“We can report that many beneficiaries have still not received their grants and have resorted to staying over at local payment sites as they simply cannot afford to return once again to retrieve their grant. Beneficiaries are frustrated and desperate as they cannot purchase necessities such as food or electricity.
This is a grave injustice and a breach of the Constitutional obligation to deliver grants,” she said.