The South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) has issued a warning following an increase in the number of “fake” SMSes being circulated to its beneficiaries.
Sassa spokesperson Paseka Letsatsi said the agency had recently received reports of beneficiaries receiving an SMS instructing them to re-register their social grants because cash pay points would be fully phased-out by August 2018.
The fake SMS reads as follows: “All Sassa recipients, please, you have to re-register yourself for Sassa payments. From 1st of June. There is will be no pay points anymore. Each 1 has to apply by post office or a bank of your choice. So please collect application forms by office from the 1st of June to take to bank or post office your choice. If you do not re-register you will not get paid in August or thereafter. Please share with all state pensioners. Thank you [sic].”
Letsatsi said the contents of the SMS was misleading and caused unnecessary confusion and panic among social grant beneficiaries.
“Beneficiaries are urged to ignore this message as it is incorrect,” he said.
Letsatsi said contrary to the information in the SMS, beneficiaries did not have to re-register their grants. He said they were, however, requested to swap their old Sassa cards for the new Sassa card by end of September 2018.
“This can be done at local Sassa offices, pay points or selected post offices.”
Cash pay points reduced
He said the cash pay points were being gradually reduced, but would not be fully phased out, as alleged in the SMS.
“Where a pay point is within [a] 5km radius of a post office, the post office will take over payments for that pay point,” he said.
“Beneficiaries can also choose whichever method of payment that they are comfortable with. They can opt for their social grant to be deposited directly into their personal bank account, including Postbank, or they can use their Sassa cards to withdraw at ATMs and merchants such as Pick n Pay and Shoprite,” he said.
Letsatsi said if a beneficiary chose to have their grant deposited directly into their personal bank account, they should go to the Sassa office where they registered their grant and request an annexure C form.
“This form must be completed by their bank of choice and returned to Sassa,” he said.
“The agency will further endeavour to ensure that the transition of beneficiaries from cash pay points to electronic methods of payments happens smoothly and without any hassles.”