Sassa Gold Card problems: People are worried because the majority of Gold SASSA cards are about to expire. The South African post office branch in Athlone, Cape Town, is crowded as people fear their gold cards will expire in a few days.
Stay with us as we unravel the chaos that people other than the post office administration are experiencing these days.
Sassa Gold Card problems create Panic in South African Post Offices
The Black Sash human rights organization has expressed concern and warned authorities about the shortage of staff in various post offices. The organization has requested that the administration increase the workforce to deal with long lines and overflowing beneficiaries.
This saga of chaos begins when the South African Social Security Agency reminds its beneficiaries that their gold card is about to expire. The agency has asked the beneficiaries to go to any post office in their area to renew their cards.
The SASSA SRD grant has been a source of concern for many because it is the sole source of income for a specific group of households. As a result, when the beneficiaries received the reminder, it irritated them, and the next thing they probably wanted to do was find a post office closer to them.
In the month of March, nearly 175,000 gold cards expired, according to statistics. These figures were provided directly by the post office’s spokesperson, Bongani Diako, who also stated that the administration has a “staggered process” in place to issue new cards to all beneficiaries who previously held the gold card. Diako claims that all beneficiaries whose cards expired in March have received new cards.
Despite job insecurity, the number of beneficiaries who need their gold cards renewed is increasing over time. For example, 860,000 cards will become invalid in April. Worse, 2.8 million cards are expected to expire in May, and 1.8 million cards will be useless after July.
The Athlone post office branch was packed with problems during the first week of April as people fear that their Sassa gold card is expired . Considering the severity of the situation, officials from Black Sash and their associates, the Athlone District Advice Office, visited the location and surveyed the people in the queue.
Thandi Henkeman, the Western Cape Regional Manager at Black Sash, has issued her observation, claiming that the situation has deteriorated. Police were called in to help manage the crowd and assist the Black Sash team in crowd control.
Emerging Issues Concerning Beneficiaries and Post Office Employee:
Henkeman has directed authorities’ attention to a number of issues concerning the right to dignity. She went on to say that the elderly had to stand for hours because there were no chairs or furniture nearby to sit on. She claimed that citizens were forced to wait in line with no overhead protection from the elements.
The regional officer explained the situation and stated that the post office had no capacity to handle the number of visitors who came in last week. The post office does not have enough space to serve beneficiaries other than those who come in on a regular basis for their monthly grants or to complain about payment problems.
Here is the post office’s situation, as described by the regional office in her own words:
“The post office is collapsing under pressure and is unprepared to deal with the influx of people who need help right now.”
“These rights are supposed to be inherent in all South Africans, with the only requirement that you arrive.” It is not a gift.”
She is disappointed and believes that the situation at this post office is representative of the situation at post offices across the country.
Henkemen appears uneasy about the current post office overflow. Despite reports of robberies at a number of post offices across the country, she believes that the safety of beneficiaries and post office employees is jeopardized.
The list of problems grows longer as citizens whose SASSA SRD check indicates approval of their monthly grant are still not paid. Cecilia Daniels, 75, had to stand for hours on her legs at the Athlone post office. She had been traveling back and forth for her unpaid old-age pension.
The SASSA grant had been pending since February. She was rescued after several hours of labor and returned to her home after the authorities had resolved her problem.
A parliamentary report reveals some heartbreaking facts about the post office. It reveals that the staff has been subjected to mass retrenchment and salary reductions, which were finally reported in March. Consider being fired or having a portion of your monthly salary deducted!
To add insult to injury, a report from Outlier revealed that many post offices were forced to close. According to the report, 1512 traditional post office branches and 697 post office agencies closed in 2018. As of this writing, there are only 626 post offices in operation across the country.
Despite the fact that SASSA retained 6.3 million beneficiaries and paid nearly 54% of 11.7 million beneficiaries who used the post office for SASSA SRD grant transactions in January 2023, these post offices were closed.