Changes and phasing out explained

South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) card holders who are still using the old Sassa card, which will be fully phased out by September 30 this year, should swop their old card for a new one this weekend at dedicated venues throughout the Western Cape.

SA Post Office (SAPO) and Sassa employees will be on duty in more than 20 dedicated card swop venues throughout the province on Saturday and Sunday June 23 and 24 from 8am to 1pm in a card swop blitz.

The post office advises Sassa beneficiaries to take advantage of these extended operating periods and swop their cards before end of August to avoid a last-minute rush.

“We have deployed resources throughout the country to ensure that as many people as possible are put onto the new Sassa cards before the end of August. As a result, people should not leave it to the last minute to swop their cards. It takes approximately three minutes to be issued with a new card once you reach the card issue desk on site, so it is a very swift process”, says Sapo chief operations officer, Lindiwe Kwele.

The new Sassa card is issued by Sapo’s Postbank and it has been specifically designed to prevent challenges with the illegal deductions that left many beneficiaries out of pocket in the past years. The only deductions that will be allowed on the new Sassa card will be for funeral policies on non-child grants, which should also not be more than 10% of the total grant.

The new Sassa card operates fully within the national payment systems and it has the following benefits:

Three cash withdrawals from any participating merchant (such as Shoprite, Boxer, etc);

One free over the counter cash transaction at the post office;

Free swipes (purchase payments) at all merchants;

One free ATM balance enquiry per month.

Sapo says that beneficiaries will not be charged R10 per month, or any such “service fee”, when using the new Sassa card, so beneficiaries get their grant in full.

Beneficiaries who receive their grants in a bank account don’t need to do a card swop.

Sassa local offices that will be open in the metro this weekend are: Athlone, Bellville, Khayelitsha, Wynberg, Cape Town, Eersterivier, Gugulethu and Mitchell’s Plain. On the West Coast it will be Atlantis, Malmesbury and Piketberg satellite offices and Vredenburg and Vredendal local offices and in the Boland and Overberg it will be Paarl, Worcester and Caledon local offices and the Thusong centres in Robertson, Grabouw and Bredasdorp.