ACDP MP and Member of Social Development Portfolio Committee, Cheryllyn Dudley, continues to receive angry messages from pensioners and disabled people who still have not received their pensions and benefits.
The South African Social Services Agency (SASSA) said they are experiencing problems with the electronic payment of social grants, caused as a result of the process of changing from the old to the new payment system. SASSA requested beneficiaries give themselves at least 3 days to withdraw their grants but pensioners are desperate.
Dudley says that, “Many who receive payouts rely on their payments to the last penny and now have no money to pay rent or buy food. Even traveling to withdraw money is costly for them. The ACDP is very concerned with their plight and the distress caused.
“There is a detailed plan for execution, resource requirements, critical milestones and communication strategy for this crossover including a commitment to draw additional capacity from other organs of state if required. The problems should have been speedily dealt with.
“The ACDP calls on Treasury and the Inter Ministerial Team to urgently investigate why the promised additional capacity from other organs of state has either not been actioned or is just not adequate for the task at hand. An urgent response is required to ensure people receive the money that they should have received. The situation is placing vulnerable people at increased risk as borrowing money incurs interest and very little money is then left for living expenses.”
Dudley added that, “Despite increased efforts by SASSA to communicate, most affected people have no idea what is going on. The ACDP calls on the department to communicate via SMS with individual clients as messages on Facebook and Twitter are not reaching most affected persons”.
ISSUED BY: CHERYLLYN DUDLEY MP
7 July 2018
The South African Social Services Agency (SASSA) briefed the Portfolio Committee on Social Development yesterday, on reasons for non-payment of grants and long queues at pay points.
ACDP Member of Parliament, Cheryllyn Dudley, said after the briefing that “Although briefings by SASSA are a regular occurrence this was more of an urgent intervention by the committee to ensure the agency was under no illusion as to how serious the issues are and that more than assurances were expected from them.”
SASSA expressed heartfelt apologies for the inconvenience caused by the overloading of the system affecting 700,000 new card holders. They said the money went into the accounts with no problem but when there was a run of people withdrawing at the same time, the sheer volume of withdrawals caused a glitch. In the trial run this problem did not occur but the chairperson of the committee pointed out that there was no excuse as risk management should have factored in the possibility.
Dudley reminded the committee chairperson that “The strengthening of relevant capacity in the South African Post Office (SAPO) had been identified as a requirement when the decision was taken to run with using our own resources and not remaining vulnerable through dependency on outsourced service providers.” The chairperson was also of the opinion that the committee should urgently look into what is being done about ensuring SAPO has the capacity as promised. “This was a decision taken by all of us”, Dudley said. “We had considered SAPO’s potential and its constraints and were all firmly convinced that despite a lack of capacity this was the only direction that made sense. Members of Parliament were in agreement that we could not allow the country to be at the mercy of contractors when it comes to the payment of grants on which so many rely. We must now put pressure on treasury to provide an adequate budget and on SAPO to ensure relevant capacity is being built without delay”.
Officials assured members of parliament that the system was stabilising and that the grant money would be available by Thursday or Friday and can be withdrawn from Merchants or ATMs to avoid queues at post offices. Dudley said, “To avoid further inconvenience, it would be wise to wait till Friday”.
ISSUED BY: CHERYLLYN DUDLEY MP
26 June 2018
The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) has assured beneficiaries that their grants will be paid.
SASSA Acting CEO, Mr Abraham Mahlangu, has noted the challenges experienced by grants beneficiaries during the current social grant payment cycle.
“We are aware that beneficiaries are experiencing problems with the electronic payment of their social grants. What is being experienced is a result of a process of changing from an old to a new payment system for social grants. SASSA is also in a process of phasing out Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) as directed by the Constitutional Court and introducing the South African Post Office (SAPO) to pay social grants”, says Mr Mahlangu.
WATCH: Dudley: “SASSA, We have no time to lose!”
“We assure beneficiaries that their social grants will be paid in full. In fact, the funds are already in their accounts. We request beneficiaries to give themselves at least 3 days to withdraw their grants.
Should a beneficiary choose to access their funds through an ATM, the account type a beneficiaries chooses should be a savings account – in the event of the savings option being rejected, the beneficiary can then choose the cheque account option.
“SASSA wishes to apologise for the inconvenience caused to the beneficiaries. SASSA and SAPO are working tirelessly to find a solution to this problem and ensure that all beneficiary services are restored in the shortest possible time. We further undertake to keep our beneficiaries informed”, Mr Mahlangu concluded.
Source: South African Social Security Agency (SASSA)