Home NEWS Shoprite Wants To Convert Sassa Gold Card Recipients To Money Market

Shoprite Wants To Convert Sassa Gold Card Recipients To Money Market

The South African Post Office is close to closing down, meaning a change is coming for Sassa beneficiaries who use the Post Office to collect their money. However, there is an alternative solution at play.

The South African Post Office (SAPO) is currently facing possible liquidation, meaning there is the potential for it to go out of business.

Liquidation is the process of selling off assets and using the proceeds to pay off creditors and shareholders, and is triggered when a company is insolvent and unable to pay its debts.

Liquidation can also be voluntary, when the company decides to go out of business and liquidate its assets.

According to the Post Office’s most recent financial statements for 2021/2022 to end-March 2022, the state owned enterprise owed more than R4.4 billion to creditors and its debt exceeded its assets by R4 billion.

Since SAPO may no longer be in existence, Shoprite is now attempting to convert around 18,000 Sassa Gold Card beneficiaries to the retailer’s Money Market Accounts.

Shoprite’s Money Market currently has over 2 million customers.

Sassa’s Gold Card has recently expired, meaning users of the card will have to reapply for a new one. Those not wanting to renew their Gold Cards can still receive their Sassa grants by applying for their monies to get paid to their personal bank accounts, or use Shoprite’s free Money Market account.

According to Shoprite General Manager for Financial Services, Jean Oliver, about 5 million Sassa Gold Cards are expiring over the next three months.

A lot of beneficiaries will get stuck, so our [Shoprite’s] shoutout to the beneficiaries is ‘don’t wait!’. You can make sure to renew your card or come to your nearest Shoprite, Checkers or USave, and come and apply for the Money Market Account. Then, you can use your Xtra Savings card to withdraw your Sassa grants in any one of our stores.

Thousands of Sassa’s grant recipients make use of the Post Office to collect their grants on a monthly basis; Sassa has reiterated that grant distribution will not be impacted by the Post Office’s potential liquidation.

In an interview, Sassa’s spokesperson, Paseka Letsatsi confirmed:

The government agency will do everything in its power to make sure that the beneficiaries get what is due to them. 

The government agency is engaging with other stakeholders and also taking necessary steps in engaging with the Post Office itself in finding a solution.

Sassa also alerted recipients that the post office would be operating for longer hours to help those renewing their cards.

“We had to intervene to make sure that queues move smoothly, people are helped, especially the elderly, and in this instance, Sassa has tried to make sure that its employees or the staff are available, including during weekends,” said Letsatsi.

Oliver says that since the Shoprite group has long been partnered with Sassa in terms of distributing the grants, recipients can now fully join Shoprite and its other retailers, such as Checkers and USave, for more convenience.

Shoprite, and the Shoprite group, has been playing a massive role in grant disbursements. I think the next step that we’re taking is allowing the customers to receive their grant payments into our bank account, or into their bank account, which is a Shoprite Money Market account, which gives them full control of their money. 

Oliver adds that beneficiaries will receive an SMS once their money has been deposited into their accounts, instead of travelling to a shop when the money is not ready for collection.

They can then transact with their phone or their Xtra Savings card, buy airtime and data, etc. on their phone, or they can come in to buy goods and services or withdraw money.

Loadshedding has had a strenuous impact on several of South Africa’s businesses, and the Shoprite group is no exception.

Oliver says that many ATMs have shut down during loadshedding, which has meant that more customers are entering Shoprite stores for cash withdrawals. Although this is welcomed, says Oliver, it is not always easy to plan meaning that sometimes a store might run out of money, but that a solution is being drawn up.

Those with cards that have expired must visit their nearest SAPO branch and replace the cards on hand. The cards will be replaced in a staggered approach with priority given to those with cards expiring in March.

Sassa serves as a lifeline for millions of South Africans around the country, and provides grants such as the Older Person’s grant, the SRD grant, the Disability grant, the Child Support grant and the Foster Child grant.

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