South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) has changed the payment cycle for social grants.
As of next month, disability and pension grants will be paid from the 4th day of the month while all other grants will be paid from the 6th of every month.
Sassa says lessons learnt from the last payment cycle during the national lockdown have compelled it to review the payment dates.
The grant payment for this month was brought forward to 30 March with the first two days being dedicated to people with disabilities and pensioners to ensure compliance with the State of Disaster requirements.
“Money deposited into your account is safe and will not be taken back if not used,” said Sassa CEO Busisiwe Memela.
“There is no need to rush to withdraw cash on the first day we deposit it into your account.
“The Sassa card can be used as a debit card to pay for purchases, therefore it is not necessary to withdraw cash and thereafter purchase goods with the cash.”
According to Busisiwe Memela SASSA CEO, Lessons learned from the last payment cycle during the National Lockdown have compelled SASSA to review the payment dates going forward. As from the month of May 2020 disability and Older Persons Grants will be paid from the 4th day of the month. All other grants will be paid from the 6th of every month.
The grant payment for April was brought forward to the 30 March 2020 and the first two days were dedicated to people with disabilities and older persons to ensure compliance with the State of Disaster requirements. Impatient child support grant beneficiaries could not wait for the 1st of April and descended upon payment channels as early as 30 March. This posed all sorts of health challenges and it became difficult at some stores and ATM’s to maintain social distancing. There was also a nasty scene in a Dobsonville shopping centre in Soweto where a group of youngsters were captured on video pushing older people in order to access payment infrastructure first.
In response to this unpleasant experience, SASSA started consulting role players such as National Treasury, South African Post Office, the banking association, retailers, and the consumer goods council among others. What came out of the consultations is that people with disabilities and the aged need to be protected from the month end rush at payment outlets and therefore payment needs to be staggered in such a way that these categories of beneficiaries receive their grants before others. To effect this SASSA will make use of two payment files. The first one will cover the aged and the disabled while the second payment file will cover all other grant types.
Some older persons use one card to also receive child support and foster child grants. In such cases they will be able to access all linked grants from the 4th of every month.
Once the money is in the account, it will remain there until it is needed.
“Money deposited into your account is safe and will not be taken back if not used. There is no need to rush to withdraw cash on the first day we deposit it into your account. The SASSA card can be used as a debit card to pay for purchases, therefore it is not necessary to withdraw cash and thereafter purchase goods with the cash”; Busisiwe Memela SASSA CEO pleaded with beneficiaries.