Sassa to increase speed in processing card swaps at pay points

In a submission to Parliament's Social Development Committee this week, Sassa says card swap teams will be dispatched to all pay points to issue the new cards.

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

CAPE TOWN – The South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) says it will be pulling out all stops this month to speed up and increase card swaps at pay points.

Seven-hundred-thousand beneficiaries, who have already been issued with the new card, have been left stranded this week due to technical glitches with the new payment system.

In a submission to Parliament's Social Development Committee this week, Sassa says card swap teams will be dispatched to all pay points to issue the new cards.

Sassa says its primary focus this month will be to issue the new Sassa cards to beneficiaries who usually receive their grants in cash.

Card swap teams will follow the payment teams and as grants are paid, beneficiaries will have to queue to receive new cards.

Sassa says from a single card swap taking up to one hour when the system was introduced in May, system adjustments have increased the speed of processing cards to around seven minutes.

More than a million card swaps have been done so far.

Sassa says it's also reduced the number of beneficiaries who receive their grants in cash to 1.6 million.

As it races towards a September deadline to transfer all beneficiaries to the Post Office's new payment system, Sassa says August will be dedicated to mop-up operations.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)