The South African Social Security Service (Sassa) has assured beneficiaries that from January, social grants will be paid on the first day of the month.
Sassa spokesperson Paseka Letsatsi said beneficiaries who use banks, ATMs and merchant outlets will be able to access their funds, despite it being a public holiday.
“As usual, this applies to any other public holiday on the first day of the month. Payment at Sassa pay points will start on January 4 all over the country except the Western Cape which will open its pay points from January 3,” Letsatsi said.
This comes after social grants for December 2017 came in as early as November 28.
Sassa said this was done in order for beneficiaries to be protected from the festive shopping traffic.
“The rationale behind was to protect beneficiaries from the December shopping traffic and its attendant risks, especially for the elderly. The move, however, is misinterpreted as a December double payment by a few and others think another early payment for January is on the cards, which is not true,” the department said.
Letsatsi said social grant beneficiaries are also reminded that upon approval of their grants they have the right to choose their payment method.
“They can either choose a direct payment into a bank account of their choice or a manual cash payment at a pay point.
“Choosing direct payment into their account makes it easy because they can receive their money anywhere in the country. Beneficiaries who wish to switch to banks can arrange that at their nearest Sassa office.
Sassa, however, does not cover bank charges that may arise in the case of direct payments into private bank accounts of beneficiaries.”
Earlier this week, Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe said Sassa and the South African Post Office (Sapo) had reached an agreement for grant payments, after months of uncertainty.
The new deal between Sapo and Sassa was signed on December 8 and the new payment model is expected to be implemented by April next year.
The new agreement gives effect to the implementation of the phasing in of the Post Office and the Postbank as a service provider and also as one of the channels through which grants will be distributed.