Sassa and the SA Post Office have released a joint statement assuring social grant beneficiaries that they will continue to receive their grant money on time each month.
“We assure everyone that social grant payments to all the more than 11 million SASSA beneficiaries will not be disrupted,” said Sassa and the SA Post Office.
“The beneficiary funds are directly deposited into social grants beneficiaries’ accounts every month by SASSA and SAPO serves as a distribution agent of the grants which are deposited into the Postbank SASSA/SAPO gold card accounts,” said Sassa and SA Post Office.
The SA Post Office also said that reports claiming it was considering closing its grant payment pay-points are inaccurate.
“There are 1,740 cash pay points through the country which are serviced monthly. They located in mostly rural areas where there is no national payment infrastructure. SASSA has the sole prerogative to determine these pay points and not SAPO,” said the SA Post Office.
The SA Post Office added that reports claiming it is losing R60 million per month due to its contract with Sassa are incorrect.
“The R60m cited in the report actually reflects a cost figure of SAPO that is associated with the grants payments contract and not a loss,” said SA Post Office.
“On the contrary, the SASSA contract presents a necessary revenue stream for SAPO.”
“The point of discussion in that document, which has obviously been reported out of context, was in relation to the manner in which SAPO is able to structure a number of its cost fundamentals to better the financials of the SASSA payments contract.”
Reports of massive losses
The statement follows a report by the City Press which claimed that the SA Post Office is losing at least R60 million a month from distributing social grants.
Insiders told the City Press they estimate that for every R100 the Post Office earns from the deal with Sassa, it is spending R500.
“The Sassa project won by the Post Office has proved to be a loss-making initiative that the Post Office continues to subsidise at its own risk of financial viability, going concern, and reckless trading,” Post Office CIO Refilwe Kekana was quoted as saying in an internal memorandum.
When asked for official comment, SA Post Office told the City Press that Kekana’s memorandum was “an internal discussion document reflecting an individual’s views, and not an official position of the Post Office”.