Social grant recipients fail to access January funds due to Postbank ‘glitch’

Sassa attributed that to fraud on the payment network.

Cape Town mother Angelina Stuurman spent hours queuing outside the Post Office in Athlone this week, desperate to collect her child’s unpaid social grant.

“November was the last time I received a Sassa [SA Social Security Agency] grant for my child,” said Stuurman while she waited in line with dozens of other beneficiaries who had also not received their money for January.


In a circular, Sassa stated that all grants were to be paid by 5 January but on Friday, Postbank acknowledged in a statement that its payment system had suffered yet another “glitch” which meant many could not access their grants.

System ‘unstable’

Postbank spokesperson Bongani Diako said the system became “unstable” on the Friday morning. This caused social grant beneficiaries who use the Sassa/ Postbank gold card to experience “challenges when doing transactions”.

He said the issue had been resolved by Friday midday. However, when GroundUp visited the Athlone Sassa and Post Office branches on Tuesday, many beneficiaries had still not received their much-needed grants.

Among them was Stuurman, who said she was yet to receive the grant for December and January.

Tuesday was the third time she had visited the office to ask why the grant had not been paid. “I first came in December and they said they were going to sort it out.


They made a copy of my Sassa card and ID, but still nothing.” Stuurman is unemployed and relies on the grant to buy school supplies for her seven year old.

“Parents are really dependent on this money. How are they supposed to live? The past two months have been difficult for us.”

By the end of the day, Stuurman had been paid. She was with her mother-in-law Yolanda Lawrence who had not yet received her disability grant this month.

“I can’t pay my debts or anything. I’ve had to tell everyone that I borrowed money from that I didn’t receive my grant yet.”

Lawrence has been receiving the grant since 2015 and said she has never had any payment issues until now.

Sadiyah Manuel was with her children aged one and six in the queue. This was her third attempt to get their child support grants.

When she returned on Monday at 6am, she said the line was snaking around the building. “There were almost 100 people already waiting.

My daughter has to start Grade R but there’s no money for stationery. Most of us are unemployed, that’s why we rely on these grants,” said Manuel.

This is not the first payment glitch at Postbank. Last month, millions of beneficiaries who use gold cards were unable to withdraw their grants from ATMs.

At the time, Sassa attributed that to fraud on the payment network. Diako said about 4 450 people had been affected by the glitch and the problem should have been fixed by now.

ALSO READ: Postbank claims Sassa grants can now be collected after system glitches

This article originally appeared on GroundUp and was republished with permission. Read the original article here.