While significant progress has been made in migrating beneficiaries of social grants from the old SASSA cards to the new gold cards, the agency said it was concerned that some beneficiaries are still holding on to the old cards, which have reached their expiry date, and not swapping them for the new cards.

The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) has urged social grant beneficiaries, who are still in possession of the old SASSA card, to urgently swap it for the new gold card or run the risk of not getting their grants in January 2019.

Just over half a million out of a total of about 10.9 million beneficiaries are still in possession of the old SASSA cards,the agency said. “SASSA and South African Post Office (SAPO) are working tirelessly to migrate these remaining beneficiaries to the new gold SASSA card. This is done through the nationwide government communication strategy which uses a variety of communication platforms in order to reach all social grant beneficiaries. SASSA remains concerned, despite the fact that it has fully complied with the Constitutional Court order,” said acting SASSA CEO Abraham Mahlangu.

He said the danger of holding on to the old card is that affected beneficiaries risk losing their benefits. “We also wish to warn beneficiaries that soon we will no longer make any social grant payments into these old cards. “For this reason, affected beneficiaries have to visit the nearest SASSA or post office to do a card swap,” said Mahlangu.

Mahlangu said individual letters have also been sent to beneficiaries as part of government’s mass communication campaign. “November is the deadline for obtaining the new SASSA cards and unfortunately there will be no extension.”

Beneficiaries who are still in possession of the old can do a card swap at their nearest SASSA or post office. They have to bring along their ID and the old card so that they can be issued with the new one. The process takes less than five minutes.

Fake SMS and WhatsApp messages
Mahlangu urged beneficiaries to ignore tempting SMSs and WhatsApp messages claiming that SASSA and some retailers are offering vouchers for unemployed people. “This is fake news generated by criminals who want to defraud unsuspecting beneficiaries this festive season. Social grants for December will be made available from as early as 28 November 2018 at post offices, stores and ATMs to avoid the December rush. Cash pay points will, however, start paying from 3 December,” Mahlangu explained.

Beneficiaries seeking more clarity should call SASSA toll free on 0800 60 10 11 or visit SASSA news on Facebook and alternatively www.sassa.gov.za