The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) issues a biometric payment card known as SASSA Card to the beneficiaries of social grants. The agency plays a pivotal role in the delivery of social security services to the citizens of the country, especially eligible children, people with disabilities, and older persons. Over the past years, SASSA has paid grants to tens of millions of people as the agency ensures that the right social grants are paid to the right people at the right time and place. Hence, the beneficiaries of these grants are registered on SASSA’s national social grant payment system.
They are entitled to a savings bank account (SASSA account) with Grindrod Bank Limited and in the process, are issued a SASSA card that is linked to the account. The debit card is used to pay for goods and services at any store where Mastercard or Visa cards are accepted. It can also be used to withdraw cash; perform electronic fund transfers, and carry out other transactions using diverse channels. So, when a cardholder loses his/her SASSA card, all hope is not lost as it can be easily replaced.
Requirements For Replacing a Lost SASSA Card
The first line of action to be taken when one loses his/her SASSA card is to inform the bank or the Cash Payment Services (CPS) through the Call Centre on 0800 600 160 (the number is toll-free on a landline). The bank will immediately restrict the card from having access to your account by blocking it. Other steps involved are;
STEP 1: A Visit to any SASSA office with the following;
- Identification (ID) and if it was lost as well, you can get a temporary ID at the Department of Home Affairs where you will report the incident of lost SASSA card and lost identity documents (ID).
- An affidavit that confirms the loss of the SASSA card.
STEP 2: A new SASSA card will be issued to you for a card replacement fee of R20.
If a beneficiary suspects that his or her account, card, or PIN has been compromised, the person should take the following steps immediately:
STEP 1: Reach out to the Call Centre on 0800 600 160 to get the account and card suspended.
STEP 2: Vist any SASSA office or service point with the following particulars;
- Identity documents (ID)
- Affidavit that confirms your personal details and also declares that the cardholder didn’t commit the unlawful withdrawal or any other suspicious crime.
- Proof of residence
- Social grant gold payment card
- Proof of personal bank details is required when the grant has been paid into the personal bank account of the beneficiary.
STEP 3: Re-activation of your SASSA account and SASSA card.
Can I Replace My Lost Card at The Post Office?
Lost SASSA cards can only be replaced at SASSA offices but the old SASSA white card can be swapped to the new gold card at the post office. One is required to go to any South African Post Office (SAPO) branch with an identity document to get the new SASSA gold card. Besides swapping the old cards, the post office also pays the social grants to the beneficiaries and further provides them with a full statement of account. Cash withdrawals can equally be done at SAPO branches, as well as PIN resets/change and account balance enquiry.
However, some of these transactions come with a cost. For a full account statement of three months at any SAPO branch, R5 is charged for each statement. Then R3 is charged for PIN reset while balance enquiry costs R1.60 per enquiry.
What To Do If Your SASSA Card is Blocked or Retained By The ATM
If the bank or cash paymaster services suspect that your SASSA account, card, or PIN has been compromised in any way, they will have to block your card and account in order to prevent fraudulent activities from being carried out with the card. In such a scenario, the cardholder will be contacted by the bank about the account suspension and after the time of suspension has elapsed, the beneficiary will then visit any SASSA office or CPS branch to get the SASSA account and card re-activated.
Another circumstance that leads to the locking of SASSA cards by the bank is when a cardholder enters a wrong pin three times at an ATM or any designated pay-points. As such, the person won’t be able to withdraw any cash. So, if your SASSA card is locked, you don’t need to replace it with a new one, rather, you will visit the nearest SASSA office to get it unlocked at zero cost. Also, entering the wrong pin thrice can lead to the retention of the card by the ATM. All you have to do in this situation is to enter inside the bank with your identity documents and relay the issue to the teller at the inquiries counter. The person will sort out the problem.
How To Rectify Other Issues You Might Encounter With The SASSA Card
Aside from the aforementioned problems one may encounter with the SASSA card, there are other issues and they include;
- The SASSA card not functioning properly which can be resolved by visiting the nearest SASSA office. There, the person will hand over the faulty card and it would be replaced with a new card at zero cost.
- When a cardholder doesn’t remember his or her PIN (4-digit number beneficiaries choose after receiving their SASSA cards), the person should visit a SASSA office where he/she can reset the PIN free of charge.
- If you think someone else knows your PIN, you will also have to visit any SASSA office closest to you, and there, you can reset your PIN.
Recent Fraudulent Operations With The Card and What To Do To Prevent It
Following the launching of the new SASSA gold card by the South African Social Security Agency and the South African Post Office in connection with Post Bank in the year 2018, social grants beneficiaries were advised to change their old cards to the new ones. However, the master keys used to encrypt and decrypt PINs and card information were compromised in 2019. Consequently, SASSA was asked by the South African Reserve Bank to replace all the cards on the current payment system. The card replacement process has been ongoing for quite some time and many beneficiaries have fallen victim to fraudulent operations as a result of it.
Some of the social grant beneficiaries have been contacted by fake employees of the welfare agency, especially those residing in KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape, and North West. They told the beneficiaries that SASSA card swapping will end in March 2021 and there’s a need to check their cards’ validity. Hence, the beneficiaries gave their SASSA cards to the fraudsters which they skimmed and cloned, stealing vital card information that they have used to withdraw their grant payments.
In a call to prevent the new SASSA card scam, the South African Social Security Agency has advised grant beneficiaries against giving their cards or card PINs to anyone that requests to inspect it. They are also asked to report such incidents to the police.