Postbank going cardless a clueless solution
Postbank’s latest media statement about “a new method of paying SASSA grants that doesn't require a physical card” is of great concern and demonstrates a disconnect between national government and the reality on the ground.
SASSA grant beneficiaries whose gold cards have expired or are about to expire apparently no longer need to go to a Post Office for a new card. Beneficiaries can supposedly go to selected retailers with their Identity Document and cellphone and withdraw their grants at the till.
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.
In the last 24 hours my office and I 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.
This statement by Postbank proves there is a great disconnect between SASSA, Postbank, and the South African Post Office.
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.
To make this successful, 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?
And the most important question: Where is national minister of social development, Lindiwe Zulu, amid the chaos
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.