Thousands of SASSA Grant Recipients Not Paid in January: What They Can Do to Get It?

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Key Takeaway

More than 150,000 SASSA grant recipients did not receive their payments in January 2024 due to verification delays, technical glitches, and legal disputes. The affected recipients can contact SASSA or Postbank to update their information, check their payment status, and request alternative payment methods. They can also seek help from civil society organizations and community networks.

If you are one of the thousands of South Africans who rely on social grants from the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) to make ends meet, you may have experienced a frustrating and stressful start to the new year. Many SASSA grant recipients did not receive their payments in January 2024, leaving them without money for food, school supplies, rent, and other essentials.

What caused this payment problem and what can you do to get your money? In this article, we will explain the reasons behind the SASSA payment debacle and provide some tips and resources to help you access your grant.

SASSA Grant Recipients

Reason for SASSA Grant Recipients Not Paid

According to SASSA, there were several factors that contributed to the non-payment of grants in January 2024. These include:

  • Verification delays: SASSA conducts a monthly verification process of banking details, names, addresses, and ID numbers of grant beneficiaries to prevent fraud. However, this process can cause delays if the information provided by the beneficiaries does not match the records of the banks. For example, a name may be misspelled or a letter may be missing. SASSA spokesperson Paseka Letsatsi said that this was the main reason for the non-payment of grants in January 2024. He also said that some beneficiaries may have changed their addresses due to the floods that affected parts of the country in December 2023 and did not inform SASSA.
  • Technical glitches: SASSA uses a software provider called Electronic Connect to handle the payments of grants to recipients who use SASSA/Postbank cards. However, this software provider has been in a legal dispute with Postbank since 2018 over unpaid invoices and non-compliance with public procurement protocols. As a result, the software provider threatened to suspend the service and caused several outages and disruptions in the payment system. This affected about 6.3 million grant recipients, or 35% of the total, who use SASSA/Postbank cards. In September 2023, more than 500,000 grant recipients were unable to access their money due to a technical glitch. In January 2024, another technical glitch occurred, affecting about 150,000 grant recipients.
  • Legal disputes: In addition to the dispute between Electronic Connect and Postbank, SASSA has also been involved in a legal battle with Cash Paymaster Services (CPS), the former service provider that distributed grants through cash points and merchants. SASSA terminated its contract with CPS in 2018 after the Constitutional Court found it unlawful and invalid. However, CPS claimed that SASSA owed it R1.3 billion for services rendered and took the matter to court. The legal dispute has caused uncertainty and confusion among some grant recipients who used to receive their payments through CPS.

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What They Can Do to Get It?

If you are a SASSA grant recipient who did not receive your payment in January 2024, you may be wondering what you can do to get your money. Here are some steps you can take:

  • Contact SASSA or Postbank: You can call the SASSA toll-free number 0800 60 10 11 or visit the nearest SASSA office to check your payment status, update your information, and request a new SASSA card if needed. You can also contact Postbank at 0800 53 54 55 or visit the nearest Post Office branch to inquire about your payment and verify your banking details. SASSA and Postbank have apologized for the inconvenience and assured that they are working to resolve the payment issues as soon as possible.
  • Request an alternative payment method: If you are unable to access your grant through your SASSA/Postbank card, you can ask SASSA to pay your grant through an alternative method, such as a bank account, a mobile wallet, or a cash voucher. You will need to provide proof of identity and proof of residence to SASSA to change your payment method.
  • Seek help from civil society organizations and community networks: If you are in urgent need of food, shelter, or other assistance, you can reach out to civil society organizations and community networks that offer support to SASSA grant recipients. Some of these organizations include Black Sash, #PayTheGrants, Gift of the Givers, and FoodForward SA. You can find their contact details and information on their websites or social media platforms. You can also join or start a community action network (CAN) in your area to connect with other people who are facing similar challenges and share resources and solidarity.

Final Words

The SASSA grant payment problem in January 2024 has caused hardship and distress to many vulnerable South Africans who depend on social grants for their livelihood. While SASSA and Postbank are working to fix the problem and pay the outstanding grants, some actions grant recipients can take to get their money and access other forms of support. We hope that this article has provided you with some useful information and tips to help you cope with this difficult situation.

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