Durban – The SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) continued its engagements with entities following delays and insufficient grant payments last month. The SAHRC recently met with Postbank and the Department of Communications over the delayed payment of social grants.
In a statement, the SAHRC said it met with a delegation from Postbank and the Department of Communications on Thursday.
The meeting was held to discuss various matters relating to the inaccessibility of social grants by some Postbank account-holders on September 5 and 6.
Also on the agenda was to establish whether those Postbank account-holders who were unable to access their social grant money, due to switching glitches on the Postbank payment system, had now been assisted – and whether it was anticipated that these technical challenges would recur during the October payment cycle.
The SAHRC said that Postbank indicated that it was in a continuous process of upgrading or modernising its system. They had migrated to a new switching system on August 21. The system, despite being tested before going live, experienced problems during the period of September 5-7.
The auto-reversal system was then replaced, and the system appeared to be operating without further glitches.
The bank also indicated that it had assisted all of their clients who were unable to access their funds during that period through communication, hotline service and back-office manual processes.
“Postbank assured the commission that all the 491 744 persons who were impacted by the banking interface glitch have since September 10, 2023, gained access to their social grant funds,” the SAHRC said.
The bank assured the SAHRC that it did not expect any issues with the October payment cycle, but nonetheless it had taken precautionary measures, through its service vendors, to have technicians on standby and to ensure a quick response time should any problems be experienced.
The SAHRC said it would closely monitor the October social grant payment cycle to the various categories of beneficiaries, including pensioners, persons with disabilities and minor children.
A week before this meeting, the SAHRC had met with the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) and the Department of Social Development on the same issue of technical glitches.
October Sassa grant payments are expected to be made between October 3 and 5.
Meanwhile, there were social grant increases as of Sunday, October 1:
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