Newlands East councillor Shontel de Boer and Wentworth councillor Aubrey Snyman said they had both been receiving multiple complaints from grant beneficiaries about the Sassa cards.
Most of the confusion began with the roll-out of the new Sassa gold cards issued by the South African Post Office’s PostBank, the cards that replaced Cash Paymaster Services’ (CPS) Sassa cards.
De Boer said residents had been experiencing issues with swopping their old card for the new one because of not being able to get to Sassa offices.
“Some of the beneficiaries we are talking about here are old people who have difficulties accessing Sassa offices,” said De Boer.
She had been trying to communicate with Sassa officials to come up with ways to make the process of renewals and issuing of the new cards easier for the elderly.
Vusumuzi Mahaye, Sassa’s spokesperson in KwaZulu-Natal, said they were aware of the confusion regarding Sassa cards in the province.
He said there was only one new card that Sassa users were encouraged to switch to, and that was the new gold Sassa card, available at Sassa offices nationally and at Sassa pay points.
Lindiwe Kwele, the Chief Operating Officer for the SA Post Office, said the post office was appealing to social grant beneficiaries with the old white Sassa card, which would be fully phased out by September 30, to swop it for the new gold Sassa card.
“It takes approximately three minutes to be issued with a new card once you reach the card issue desk on site, so it is a very quick process,” said Kwele.
She added that Post Offices nationally would soon also become a card swop channel and the Post Office would make announcements to grant beneficiaries once this was possible.
On issues with the usage of the new cards Mahaye said it depended on when the beneficiary received the card.
“If the beneficiary receives the card after the money had been loaded on the old card then the new card will not have money in it until the following month,” said Mahaye.
He added that any additional issues with the card were being dealt with.
On the EasyPay Everywhere green card or the Sassa-branded card, Herman Kotze, the CEO of Net1 said there was no requirement to migrate or open any other bank account, unless the beneficiary chose to do so.
“Simply, beneficiaries have a right to choose an account including the SAPO, Easypay Everywhere or any other bank account that facilitates their requirements in terms of pricing, convenience and accessibility,” said Kotze.