In case you didn’t know - the payment date for August grants have changed.
Disability grants will now be separated from old age grants and will not be paid on the same day.
The payment dates are as follows:
3 August: Older persons (pension) grants
4 August: Disability grants
5 August: All other grants
Sassa has put out the following safety tips:
For your own safety, avoid large groups of people; wait for quiet times to access cash.
Do not withdraw all your cash at once. Use your cards to purchase goods and draw cash for your immediate needs.
Your money is safe if you leave it in your card. Use it as you require it, and not all at once.
FAKE SASSA NEWS:
Sassa’s Facebook page has pointed out two posts doing the rounds as fake news.
One is a black poster with the heading AmaR350Wethu, and says: “If you have applied for your R350 grant and you haven’t received your grant yet please SMS your ID number & name to 35875. Network & admin fee apply. Sms costs R3.”
Sassa has responded by saying that this is fake news: “SASSA services are free. All qualifying & approved applicants will be notified by SMS when payments are done. Those who haven’t yet been paid in May, will receive payment soon. Unqualifying applications will be given reasons. #SASSACARES.”
The other fake story reads: “SRD R350 will be paid to beneficiaries until 2021.”
Sassa’s response is: “Please note that (the below) is fake news. The special COVID-19 temporary SRD grant will only be paid for 6 months until October 2020 #SASSACARES.”
People are vulnerable. People are desperate and willing to believe anything that can make their situation better.
Yet, the people putting out this fake news do not have our best interests at heart.
Most likely they want you to make contact, and then give them your personal details like your ID number, PIN number and bank account number so that they can rob you.
Please be vigilant and don’t divulge your personal information to anyone.
Now is not the time to be conned by skelms.
LOAN SHARKS AND SASSA CARDS
Sassa has on many occasions urged social grant beneficiaries to stop giving their Sassa cards to loan sharks in exchange for money.
Sadly, as Covid-19 has hit hard and many are at their most desperate, the elderly and other grant recipients have fallen victim to these skelme, unregistered money lenders.
These loan sharks exploit people when they are at their most vulnerable and often charge crazy interest rates.
It is common knowledge that many grant recipients never even see their cards as they simply borrow from one month to the next, leaving the cards with the loan shark as collateral.
These loan sharks often demand the pin numbers to the recipients cards, as well as their identity documents.
Without identity documents, recipients cannot access any other relief offered by government in these tough times.
In May, police arrested two suspected loan sharks in possession of 200 Sassa cards, withdrawing money at an ATM in Gauteng.
Yet, we know that this happens all over the country.
In South Africa, it is illegal for loan sharks to take possession of Sassa cards in exchange for loans.
Sassa urges anyone who has knowledge of fraudulent activities with Sassa grants and cards to report it 0800 60 10 11.
Sassa spokesperson, Paseka Letsatsi recently said: “We just want to warn the public and our beneficiaries in particular that the card which is given to a beneficiary is state property, it is actually given to a beneficiary so that they are able to access their grant, it is not supposed to be with third parties.
“What we’ll basically do as an organisation is to continuously educate our beneficiaries that they must live within (the means) what the government gives to them.”
This statement doesn’t sit well with me, especially when it comes to old age grants.
What our pensioners are getting from Sassa is way below the “minimum living wage” and I think Sassa officials (who I am sure earn considerably more than minimum living wage) should develop a deeper understanding of the levels of poverty and desperation our people are facing, and instead of making condescending statements like these, should focus on delivering better service to the communities that they work for.
Get rid of the backlogs. Shorten the queues. Answer your phones.
Stop letting our elderly stand in the wind and the rain.
Just because we have become used to bad service from government departments, doesn’t mean that we deserve it.
* Moeshfieka Botha is Head of Research and Consumer Education at National Debt Advisors.
For more debt and personal finance information visit www.nationaldebtadvisors.co.za