How Sassa Plans To Pay Out Grants Despite Post Office Issues


Sassa is currently paying out permanent social grants for June, however, since the South African Post Office is currently undergoing liquidation, concerns have been raised over the agency’s ability to disburse social grants. 



The South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) has taken measures to ensure that beneficiaries continue to receive their social grant payments on time.

Minister of Social Development, Lindiwe Zulu, has acknowledged the liquidity challenges faced by the South African Post Office (SAPO) and highlighted the steps taken by Sassa to address the situation.

In October 2022, Sassa ceded its contract with SAPO for the payment of social grants to Postbank, a separate entity within the postal service. 

This move ensured that the liquidation proceedings would not disrupt the service agreement with clients, as a solvent institution had taken over the contract.

However, the transition to the Postbank has not been without its challenges. The new entity had a limited three-month timeframe to prepare for assuming responsibility, and it remains reliant on SAPO for certain services that are currently experiencing difficulties. 

Recognizing this over-reliance as a concern, the Department of Social Development and Sassa have engaged in ongoing discussions with the Postbank to explore alternatives and mitigate the impact of these challenges.

Measures To Ensure That Grant Payments Made On Time  

To reduce reliance on SAPO, Postbank has pursued several strategies. Firstly, it has been developing its own infrastructure, particularly ATM facilities in strategic locations. This will provide beneficiaries with additional options for accessing their grant funds. 

Additionally, Postbank has entered into partnerships with larger merchants, a measure that has already been implemented, as well as smaller merchants such as SPAZA shops, to further expand the network for payment services.

Another solution introduced by Postbank is a cardless payment option. This allows beneficiaries to receive their grants without the need to visit physical branches, thereby reducing congestion and improving accessibility. This system has already been successfully implemented with the R350 grant and is expected to have a similar positive impact when extended to other grants.

It is important to note that Sassa beneficiaries can receive their social grants directly into their bank accounts. More than 50% of Sassa beneficiaries have already opted for this method, which provides an alternative payment channel.

These measures collectively cover approximately 98.5% of Sassa grant recipients. However, there remains a challenge in servicing the remaining 1.5% who reside in remote areas. These beneficiaries are heavily reliant on the cash pay point services previously provided by SAPO. 

To address this issue, discussions are being held across the government, spearheaded by the Presidency, to explore a potential government-wide solution. Meanwhile, Postbank will continue to operate the cash pay points that SAPO previously managed.

The Minister further stated that Sassa and the DSD are committed to ensuring that social grant beneficiaries are not unduly affected by the liquidation of SAPO.

To find out more about Sassa grants, including the R350 grant, head to our Sassa section.


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