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Acting Sassa CEO says sorry to beneficiaries over ‘systems failure’

It’s been a frustrating day for many of South Africa's most vulnerable citizens, who’ve been unable to access their funds.

South African Social Security Agency in Pretoria. Picture: Kayleen Morgan/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Acting CEO of the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) Abraham Mahlangu has apologised for the inconvenience suffered by beneficiaries.

It’s been a frustrating day for many of South Africa's most vulnerable citizens, who’ve been unable to access their funds, due to what Sassa and the Post Office call a "systems failure".

Recipients were turned away at some pay points on Monday after new cards were introduced.

The Post Office says some pay points have not yet changed over to the new payment system, which has contributed to the delay of distributing funds to beneficiaries.

Post Office CEO Marc Barnes explains: “There are other issues, for example, when people draw cash from merchants, like Pick n Pay and Spar, [that] has now changed over what’s known as the bank identification number (BIN), with a new BIN number allocated to Sassa for the new cards.”

Mahlangu, meanwhile, says Sassa and the Post Office are working tirelessly to find a solution to the problem and ensure all services are restored in the shortest possible time.

“We’re saying to our beneficiaries that these glitches have caused this inconvenience. But we’re working with our Sapo partner to restore our system, to ensure our beneficiaries are able to access the grants within the next two to three days.”

Sassa has also promised to keep beneficiaries informed.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)