Durban - The South African Post Office said on Monday it was introducing measures to streamline investigations into possible card fraud affecting SASSA grant beneficiaries.
The organisation's general manager for security and investigations, Vossie Vos, said the post office and Sassa treated allegations of fraud as "extremely important" and all were handled "on an urgent basis".
"The SA Post Office has streamlined its procedures for investigating allegations of possible card fraud from Sassa accounts in order to minimise the inconvenience to beneficiaries and to effect refunds as quickly as possible," said Vos via an emailed statement.
Allegations of card fraud affecting Sassa beneficiaries using the Postbank-Sassa card were extremely low by industry standards, said Vos.
"During the March 2019 payment period (1 to 28 March 2019), 14,4 million transactions were completed successfully by beneficiaries using the Postbank-Sassa cards. Requests to investigate possible fraud were received for less than 0,05% of these transactions."
Despite the low number of incidents, a dedicated team investigated allegations to ensure affected beneficiaries were reimbursed within 15 calendar days or less, said Vos. The bulk of cases had been resolved within three days of reporting, he said.
There were currently over 7,7 million Postbank-Sassa (Sassa gold card) account holders, he said.
If a beneficiary suspected fraud, he or she should take their ID to the nearest post office and immediately report the incident.
Officials would help the beneficiary complete an affidavit and notify the affected person once the investigation had been resolved. A proxy or next of kin could also report the incident in the case of the elderly or handicapped, said Vos.
African News Agency (ANA)