Many people in the Eastern Cape have been left stranded without money due to the incompatibility of the new South African Social Support Agency (SASSA) cards with the ATMs of major banks.
There are numerous problems with SASSA cards:
•When the cards do not work, they are usually “swallowed” by ATMs, leaving many indigent South Africans without access to their much-needed support.
•In Steytlerville, where the cards were not compatible with the only bank in town, two businesses assisted SASSA clients at a cash fee of R50 per client. In other parts of the Eastern Cape, clients have to travel to other towns like Willowmore (85kms one way), Jansenville (100kms one way) or Port Elizabeth (170kms one way).
•Several other cases of poor payment have been reported where some people receiving grants, have not been paid since 1 April 2013, leaving the families without food.
•There are also instances of cases where old-age pensioners were only paid R800 instead of the full R1 260 they’re entitled to.
“I will write to the Minister of Social Development, Bathabile Dlamini and request that she appear in Parliament to explain how the system will be fixed.
I will also submit written questions in the National Council of Provinces to get answers on why this has been allowed to happen”, said Elza Van Lingen, the leader of the DA in Kouga.
“We cannot allow those that need our help the most to be mistreated like this. It is time for the Minister of Social Development to correct this with the urgency it deserves” added Van Lingen.