April 2024 Marks the End of SASSA Cash Paypoints

April 2024 Marks the End of SASSA Cash Paypoints

Changes in Social Grant Withdrawals: A Shift Towards Digital Access

Starting from April 2024, a significant transformation is set to occur in the method of social grant withdrawals for beneficiaries in South Africa. The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) recently communicated that social grant recipients will no longer have the option to withdraw their funds at Post Offices or cash paypoints.

In a parliamentary briefing held in February, SASSA, responsible for administering social grants through its partnership with Postbank, disclosed that approximately 142,000 individuals, constituting around 0.8% of all grant recipients, still rely on cash paypoints. Additionally, another 123,000 recipients collect their grants from Post Office branches.

Transition to a National Payment System

Postbank, working in collaboration with SASSA, has outlined a strategic shift towards a national payment system. This initiative aims to facilitate the direct transfer of grant money into recipients’ personal bank accounts or specialized SASSA Gold/Postbank accounts. Notably, since 2019, the number of cash paypoints has dramatically decreased from 9,671 to 894.

Social grant beneficiaries who traditionally withdrew funds from cash paypoints or Post Office branches are now urged to utilize SASSA Gold Cards or Postbank cards at any location accepting bank cards, according to a statement released by Postbank on Monday.

Reasons Behind the Change

Several factors contribute to the decision to close physical cash paypoints. A lack of capacity, combined with the concerning rise in “escalating cash-in-transit heists,” has prompted the move towards a more secure and efficient digital payment system. Remarkably, Postbank reports that approximately 98% of grant recipients already receive their funds via National Payment System channels.

This transformative shift has been met with advocacy from the Black Sash activist organization, which has been actively campaigning for improved accommodation of grant recipients accustomed to withdrawing funds at cash paypoints and Post Office branches.

Addressing Concerns and Enhancing Accessibility

The decision to discontinue cash withdrawals at specific physical locations has raised concerns about potential challenges for beneficiaries. However, the implementation of SASSA Gold Cards and Postbank cards, usable at various locations accepting bank cards, is positioned as a solution to ease the transition.

Efforts are being made to ensure that the transition is as smooth as possible, taking into consideration the diverse needs and preferences of social grant recipients. It remains imperative for stakeholders, including advocacy groups and government entities, to collaborate in addressing concerns and ensuring that the evolving system remains inclusive and accessible to all. The focus is not only on modernizing the payment process but also on enhancing the overall experience for social grant beneficiaries across South Africa.


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