Cape Town - It’s all systems go as the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) and the South African Post Office (Sapo) say they are ready to take on the task of ensuring that the 17million social grant benefactors receive their monies timeously.

Sassa spokesperson Kgomotso Diseko said: “There were minor technological hiccups at the beginning of July when we started the pilot with Sapo.

“They have been resolved and the payment system has been optimised. It is running at industry-standard levels and ready for the October and subsequent payment periods,” Diseko said.

However, beneficiaries living in areas far from banking services will continue to be paid at Sassa paypoints, while they have the option of visiting their nearest post office where they will receive their payouts in full.

Diseko also told Weekend Argus that more than 6.7million beneficiaries had their cards swopped and are in possession of the new gold Sassa card.

“Over 1 million migrated to banks of their choice. The remaining beneficiaries still using the old card will receive their cards in due course and are advised to visit the post office or Sassa offices to collect their new gold Sassa cards without any waste of time,” he said.

Earlier this week, the Constitutional Court ruled that former Social Development minister Bathabile Dlamini was liable for 20% of the costs of the Sassa case which was brought against the department by Black Sash and Freedom Under Law.

The court ruled in 2016 that the contract between Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) and Sassa was illegal and invalid. However, Sassa returned to court and applied for an extension of 12 months while the services rendered by CPS were being phased out and Sapo phased in, as Sassa believed that the 2.8million grant recipients who receive their grants in cash would be negatively affected.

Previously, CPS was responsible for the cash payment of grants to 10.7million South Africans through cash payments, direct deposits and electronic payments.

Sapo began the phasing in of the processes to payments to the 2.8million beneficiaries in April this year.

This, however, also means that Sassa beneficiaries using the old Sassa cards will no longer be able to access their grants unless with the new cards or Postbank cards.

Beneficiaries with queries can call Sassa toll-free on 0800601011.

Weekend Argus