Sassa commended for good work

The South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) on Wednesday said there were no major challenges experienced in August in payments to beneficiaries compared to July.
Sassa briefed Parliament’s portfolio committee on social development on the progress made on the implementation of the Constitutional Court judgment in March, to allow Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) to continue distributing social grants by another six months to beneficiaries who receive their grants in cash.
The presentation on the briefing included an update on the progress that has been achieved by Sassa with payments to beneficiaries from April to August. The committee was informed that Sassa has reduced the number of beneficiaries paid by CPS from 2 063 163 to 1 098 669.
Around 17 million South Africans are beneficiaries of state grants that include child support, dependency and foster child care, 2.8 million beneficiaries of the scheme, received their grants in cash.
The payments were deposited through the Post Bank account cards in August. The South African Post Office will also pilot cash payment solutions at 18 sites across the country.
Chairperson of the committee, Zoleka Capa, said she was very impressed with the good work which Sassa has done so far in the implementation of the Constitutional Court judgment. She told Sassa that Post Offices were not meant for a large number of people and the beneficiaries should not be subjected to long queues.
“The Department of Social Development must do something about that,” said Capa.
She thanked the assistance provided by the social workers of the Department of Social Development, especially on community work.
“Social workers assist the people and also the public will be empowered by their availability,” she said.
She further commended the partnership established between councillors, traditional leaders as stakeholders to assist Sassa in the delivery of services to the people.
MEANWHILE GRANT beneficiaries only have until the end of September to swap their old Sassa cards for the new.
Themba Matlou, Sassa regional executive manager, stressed the importance of the deadline at a media briefing recently, at Turffontein Racecourse.
Matlou said Sassa and South African Post Office (Sapo) made provision for the transition where beneficiaries immigrated from cash to electronic payment to alleviate the risk associated with cash management.
“Sassa will establish more home visits for beneficiaries older than 75 and those who qualify for home visits can call our toll-free contacts,” he said.
About 82 people will be employed for door to door communication with beneficiaries to educate them about their new cards.
A call centre will be operational to assist beneficiaries with information on about 146 call centres which have been established in the region. Beneficiaries with contact numbers on their profiles will be contacted via a standardised message to advise on beneficiaries’ nearest point of call.

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