The SA Post Office (Sapo) on Wednesday said it will be able to pay all grants by the end of the month when it completely takes over the payments of South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) social grants from Cash Paymaster Services (CPS).
Sapo COO Lindiwe Kwele, the executive responsible for the daily implementation of the entity’s social grants payments, said: “We are pleased with how smoothly the August month-end payments run went because it was our biggest since we started making social grant payments incrementally from July 2018.
“This signals Sapo’s readiness to take over the payments completely and marks a delightful endorsement of the benefits of leveraging state capacity through collaboration.”
To date, Sapo said it has paid more than 97% of the 5.4 million social grant to recipients with the new Sassa card. Payments were still ongoing at Sassa cash pay-points in line with schedules.
“What is more pleasing about the partnership between Sapo and Sassa is the direct benefits the millions of social grants beneficiaries derive from the initiative, as they are now freed from practices such as unwanted deductions,” said Kwele.
Sapo said 76% of the August grants payments were finalised in the first week of September and more than one million of these transactions were carried out over the counter inside a post office.
Kwele said the August payment run was Sapo’s third since its ground-breaking state-led agreement with Sassa was concluded in December 2017.
The Sapo COO said payments data for August were “very reassuring” in terms of social grants recipient’s adjustment to the modes of the new payments regime, especially in relation to available channels for accessing their grant money.
They said the data demonstrated that, to date, a total of 6.2 million ATM transactions were carried out during September while merchant purchases and withdrawals transactions totalled 4.2 million.
Kwele said the high number of beneficiaries who were switching to the Sassa gold card was encouraging and was a source of confidence.
Sapo said this was the final week of cash payments to just more than 300,000 social grants recipients at 1,213 payment points situated in areas that do not have a post office or national payment infrastructure points.
“Over 200,000 of these social grants recipients have already been successfully paid via Sapo’s mobile units with the remainder due to be paid in the next week in line with Sassa’s payment schedule,” said the post office.