Picture: Sibonelo Ngcobo/African News Agency (ANA)

Cape - Problems with payments of social grants, including pensions, were expected to be resolved by the end of the week the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) said on Wednesday.

Thousands of pensioners have complained that they have not been able to withdraw their money at designated pay points with their new cards since Sunday. Many of them were turned away because Sassa officials said there were glitches in the system.

About 17 million South Africans are beneficiaries of state grants that include child support, dependency and foster child care.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) on Wednesday said it would engage with social grant recipients and commuters at the Sassa pay point at Zolani Centre in Nyanga township.

During a radio interview, Sassa acting CEO Abraham Mahlangu, said the agency expected the system to have improved by Wednesday morning and "we're going to be reporting on an hourly basis as to the improvements of the queues'.  

He said that Sassa was making an undertaking that if mid-day came with no improvements, they would hand out food vouchers as a relief measure to make sure that the beneficiaries were not going home with anything by the end of the day.

He said the matter was expected to be resolved between two and three days, adding that he was “very confident that the rebooted system that was working on Wednesday was definitely going to clear the backlog as quickly as it can".

African News Agency/ANA