Picture: David Ritchie/ANA Pictures
THE verdict of whether social grant payments to more than 17million people by the SA Post Office was a success is yet to be seen.

However, the Post Office said it was confident payments to SA Social Security Agency (Sassa) beneficiaries would go smoothly. The state entity is taking over from Cash Paymaster Services (CPS), whose contract officially expired yesterday.

Post Office chief operations officer and executive responsible for the implementation of the social grant payments Lindiwe Kwele said they were pleased with the smooth transition at the end of August.

“This signals our readiness to take over the payments completely and marks an endorsement of the benefits of leveraging state capacity through collaboration.

“What is more pleasing about our partnership with Sassa is the direct benefits the millions of social grants beneficiaries derive from the initiative, as they are now freed from practices such as unwanted deductions.”

However, Mamelodi East resident and Sassa beneficiary Salamina Medupe said she had tried to withdraw money at an ATM in her neighbourhood, having learnt from a neighbour who got hers on Saturday.

“I went to the nearby ATM but it declined, stating there were no funds. Most of us are not sure whether we can use these new cards at ATM points or shops yet.

“It’s all very confusing as we’re not sure how this new system is going to work out. But for now we’re going to wait for the first day of the month when everybody should be paid.”

Dolly Motau of Ga-Rankuwa said other beneficiaries managed to withdraw their money from ATMs, while some were still waiting.

“This whole system is going to take a while before we get used to it; so I am going to give it the three days as I was advised by others to wait a bit then go to check.”

She said another reason for holding back on checking was because she didn’t want to use her last money, only to be turned back empty handed due to delayed payment.

Lontjie Makgonwa, Atteridgeville resident, said she was confident in the Post Office switch-over and managed to withdraw money using the new card last month.

But she said she would only go draw her latest grant this morning.

“Last month I used the new card with no problems, so I doubt there would be an issue this time around.”