Picture: David Ritchie/ANA Pictures

The Western Cape department of social development (DSD) on Thursday condemned the R10 bank charges from the accounts of South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) social grant beneficiaries, saying that the poor shouldn’t pay for Sassa's own mistakes.

“This is an unjustified abuse of the poor, considering the charge is effectively the consequence of the mishandling by Sassa, of its self-created grant crisis,” said the DSD in a statement.

According to DSD, Sassa indicated in an appearance in parliament on Wednesday that the banking charges are because of the continued use of Grindrod Bank without a contract in place, pending the official takeover of grant payments by the Post Office.

“Whilst Sassa, the national department of social development and the treasury conduct negotiations around how to subsidise this bank charge, the poor are expected to foot this bill,” the DSD said.

In the context of the other rising costs of living, such as the higher fuel levy and increased VAT, this tardy administration by Sassa is unacceptable, added the department.

“Sassa is a national entity, run by the national department. Provincial DSD has no operational control over it. Despite this, we will continue to play our oversight role to protect the 1.5-million social grant recipients in the province.”

African News Agency/ANA