The Department of Social Development (DSD) has revealed that millions of people will be affected if they do not renew their South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) gold cards. While they can continue using expired Sassa Gold Cards in 2023, millions of cards will expire at the end of the year.
Social grants are a critical measure in reducing hunger and poverty among South Africa’s most vulnerable citizens. Sassa pays permanent social grants to approximately 19 million people every month.
Permanent grants distributed by Sassa include the Older Persons Grant, Disability Grant, Child Support Grant, Foster Care Grant, Grant in Aid, War Veterans Grant, and the Care Dependency Grant.
The DSD revealed that there are approximately 5.3 million cards due for replacement by 31 December 2023. Many of these Sassa gold cards have already expired, however, beneficiaries can continue using them after Sassa extended the validity of Sassa gold cards until the end of the year.
The Postbank currently provides banking accounts and cards to approximately 5.3 million Sassa grant beneficiaries. All the cards that are affected by the December deadline are set to be replaced as part of the Card Replacement Project Plan.
What's The Card Replacement Project Plan?
Postbank is implementing a two-phase plan to replace expiring Sassa cards.
The first phase of the plan focuses on regions with the most Sassa beneficiaries, including KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng, Eastern Cape, Limpopo, and Mpumalanga. These regions have the highest number of Sassa grant beneficiaries.
The second phase looks at regions with fewer Sassa Beneficiaries, like the Western Cape, North West, Free State, and Northern Cape. These regions make up about 24% of the Sassa grant beneficiaries. While beneficiaries in these provinces will still receive new Sassa cards, the main focus will be on renewing cards in provinces with higher numbers of beneficiaries.
As a backup plan, Postbank is talking to VISA and the South African Reserve Bank. They want to make sure that if they can't give everyone new cards in time, the old ones can still be used for a bit longer.
This is to make sure that Sassa beneficiaries won't have any problems accessing their grant money.
Here’s Where To Get A New Sassa Card
Beneficiaries whose current gold cards are expiring can collect a new Sassa gold card at a Post Office branch.
It is important to note that the Post Office will only issue gold cards to the person in whose name the expiring card is being issued. No person will be able to collect a new Sassa gold card on behalf of another unless they are registered as a Sassa procurator.
When You Can Collect A Gold Card
Mondays and Tuesdays are dedicated to issuing new gold cards to old age grant beneficiaries and disability grant beneficiaries. Wednesdays to Saturdays are dedicated to the issuance of new gold cards to beneficiaries of child support grants and all remaining grants.
What Is Needed To Collect A New Sassa Gold Card
- South African Identity Document (ID)
- Expiring Sassa gold card
Sassa explained Post Office staff will assist grant beneficiaries in activating their new gold cards and selecting a PIN. Once this is completed, the card will be fully operational which allows grant recipients to make transactions and withdrawals.
Which Grant Beneficiaries Are Most Affected By Expiring Sassa Cards?
Beneficiaries of the children's support grants and older persons grants make up the highest portion of beneficiaries with expiring Sassa gold cards. More than 3.3 million Sassa gold cards are linked to child support grants while more than 1.5 million expiring cards belong to people who receive a Sassa pension.
Which Provinces Are Most Affected By Expiring Sassa Cards?
A large portion of beneficiaries with expired Sassa gold cards is the province of KwaZulu-Natal where 1,120,702 cards are expected to expire. The province of Gauteng is next in line with 975,063 Sassa cards due to expire. More than 775,000 Sassa cards are set to expire in the Eastern Cape.
Grant Payment Alternatives
A new payment solution, which allows grant beneficiaries to collect their grant without a Sassa card was introduced in 2023.
This cardless solution enables grant beneficiaries to access funds in their bank accounts, thus reducing the dependency on a card. This cardless solution is a permanent solution that will enable beneficiaries to access payment at participating retailers.