Social Development MEC concerned over SASSA's new cardless option
The Western Cape’s Social Development MEC, Sharna Fernandez, has raised concerns over Postbank’s latest announcement that SASSAbeneficiaries can withdrawl money without having a physical card.
According to the MEC, Postbank’s latest move demonstrates a ‘disconnect between national government and the reality on the ground.’
‘’While Postbank seems to be pleased it has seemingly found a solution to reduce queues for card replacements at Post Office branches, I have reservations as SASSA’s track record reads as a laundry list of unfulfilled promises. This statement by Postbank proves there is a great disconnect between SASSA, Postbank, and the South African Post Office.’’
Fernandez says her department have been inundated with complaints and queries about the SASSA gold card renewal.
‘’Beneficiaries are asking us questions only SASSA can answer. Many are not interested in a new method of withdrawing funds, they simply want clarity on what is happening with their gold cards and how their national government is going to fulfill its promise to support them,’’ said the MEC.
‘’Questions that the statement does not address are whether these methods have been tested or if beneficiaries living in far-flung rural communities have been considered,’’ she added.
The MEC is in the view that to make this method a success, Postbank and SASSA need to establish an effective communication strategy to ensure this message gets to all communities and beneficiaries, especially those living in rural areas and the elderly.
‘’All retailers need to be ready and briefed regarding this new method otherwise we might have instances where beneficiaries are turned away at tills. Is there really no other solution to make the gold card renewals a smoother process, for those who still wish to use their physical cards?,’’ asked Fernandez.
She slammed the national minister of social development, Lindiwe Zulu, claiming Zulu is dodign a bullet, when benenfeciairies demand answers.
‘’These entities fall within YOUR purview Minister Zulu, you owe it to the millions of vulnerable citizens across the country to take decisive leadership on this matter. It is time that the national minister takes responsibility and steps up to the plate in protecting the most vulnerable in our society,’’ said Sharna Fernandez, Western Cape’s Social Development MEC.
Done By: Mitchum George