The Postbank has announced that all South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) Gold Cards will remain fully functional for disbursing social grants beyond December 2023. This comes as a relief for millions of grant beneficiaries who no longer need to renew their Sassa gold cards.
Sassa administers a range of permanent grants, providing assistance to pensioners, individuals with disabilities, war veterans, and children's care.
These grants include the Child Support Grant, Foster Care Grant, and Child Support Grant Top-Up, which cater to the needs of children. Many of these beneficiaries rely on their Sassa Gold cards for receiving their grant payments.
Earlier this year, it was revealed that around 5.3 million Sassa cards were due for replacement by 31 December 2023. Many of these cards had already expired, however, an extension from Sassa meant grant beneficiaries could continue using their expired cards as normal.
While beneficiaries could continue using these cards until the year's end due to Sassa's extension of their validity, there was uncertainty regarding the fate of expired gold cards in 2024.
The Postbank's announcement that the validity of gold cards would be extended ensures that millions of people can continue using their Sassa gold cards even if they have expired.
This extension of Sassa Gold Cards' validity guarantees uninterrupted support for Sassa beneficiaries, sparing them from the inconvenience and expenses associated with switching to other, often costly payment methods.
This important development means that millions of social grant beneficiaries do not have to change their SASSA Gold Cards to the cards of the other banks.
Postbank advised Sassa grant beneficiaries to disregard any misleading information that may direct them to switch to alternative card products, claiming that Sassa Gold Cards are being replaced. It is important to note that Postbank is the exclusive institution authorised to replace Sassa Gold Cards.
Grant beneficiaries should also be aware that SASSA Gold Cards can be used to withdraw Sassa grants from a wide network of the country's ATMs, regardless of the bank, as well as at various retailers, including Boxer, Pick n Pay, Usave, Spar, and Shoprite.
This diversity of channels reduces the need for beneficiaries to stand in long queues at Post Offices or cash pay points.
Furthermore, Sassa reminds grant beneficiaries that no retailer or shop has the right to compel them to make a purchase before accessing their grant funds.
Sassa Gold Cards offer various transaction benefits, including free withdrawals at retail shops and the provision of free statements. These benefits empower beneficiaries while saving on transaction costs.