Social grant beneficiaries have a month to swap their old grant cards for the new gold ones, the South African Social Security Agency said in a statement released on Monday.
According the agency if social grant beneficiaries do not do this, they run the risk of not receiving their grants in the new year. The last day to switch to the new cards is December 14.
Many of the cards, the agency stated, have already reached their expiration date — half-a-million out of about 10.9-million beneficiaries still carry the old Sassa cards, the agency says.
“The danger of holding on to the old card is that affected beneficiaries risk losing their benefits,” acting Sassa CEO Abraham Mahlangu said .
Mahlangu explained that Sassa and the South African Post Office (Sapo) have been working “tirelessly to migrate the remaining beneficiaries to the new gold Sassa card”.
The migration has been part of Sassa’s compliance with the Constitutional Court order that “Sassa gets rid of any contractual ties with CPS [Cash Paymaster Services]”.
The agency cut ties with CPS in September this year after its contract ended.
Beneficiaries have been warned that Sassa will no longer make payments into the old cards after December 14. Sassa said social grants for December could be made available as early as November 28 at post offices, selected stores and ATMs. Cash payments, however, would only be paid out from December 3 onwards.
“We also wish to warn beneficiaries that soon we will no longer make any social grant payments into these old cards. For this reason, affected beneficiaries have to visit the nearest Sassa or post office to do a card swap,” Mahlangu added.
The process of switching to a new card has been promised to take less than five minutes, Mahlangu continued. All beneficiaries need to get their new Sassa card is their ID and the old Sassa card.