People are flustered as most Gold SASSA cards are about to expire. The South African post office branch in Athlone, Cape Town, faces an overwhelming crowd as people fear their gold cards expiring in a few days.
Stay along as we unravel the chaos that the people besides the post office administration are facing in current days. We will unfold all the scenarios and will update you with the information that you must know to shape your future plan regarding the renewal of your gold card.
Human rights organization which is named Black Sash, has raised its concern and has warned authorities about the shortage of staff in different post offices. The organization has called out to the administration to increase the workforce to manage lengthy queues and overflowing beneficiaries.
This saga of chaos initiates when the South African Social Security Agency reminds its beneficiaries about the upcoming expiry date of their gold card. The agency has requested the beneficiaries to visit any post office in their vicinity and get their renewed card.
Being the sole income source for a niche spectrum of households, the SASSA SRD grant has been a matter of concern for many. Hence, when the beneficiaries received the reminder, it got on their nerves, and the next thing they wanted to do was probably find a post office closer to them.
According to the statistics, almost 175,000 gold cards expired in the month of March. These statistics were directly stated by the post office spokesperson, Bongani Diako, who also claimed that the administration has a “staggered process” to issue new cards to every beneficiary who previously had the gold card. Diako asserts that all the beneficiaries whose cards expired in March have been assigned their new cards.
Despite the work fluidity, the number of beneficiaries who need their gold cards to be renewed is surging with time. For instance, in April, 860,000 cards will become invalid. Even worse, 2.8 million cards are projected to expire in May, and a total of 1.8 million cards will be of no use after July.
The first week of April has witnessed a crazy number of people crowding the post office branch of Athlone. Taking into account such a difficult situation, the officials from Black Sash and their associates, the Athlone District Advice Office, have visited the place and surveyed the people in the queue.
The Western Cape Regional manager at Black Sash, Thandi Henkeman, has issued her observation and asserts that the condition has gotten worse. Police were called to manage the crowd and assist the Black Sash team in controlling the crowd.
Henkeman has directed the focus of authorities to multiple concerns regarding the right to dignity. She further continued and revealed that the old pensioners had to keep standing for hours with no chairs or any furniture around to sit on. She said the citizens had to wait in the queue without any overhead protection from the weather.
The regional officer explained the situation and asserted that the post office had no capacity to contain the number of visitors that were actually there per day last week. The post office does not have enough space to cater to beneficiaries other than those who are regular visitors for their monthly grants or who visit to complain about payment issues.
Here is the situation of the post office as described by the regional office in her own words;
“The post office is crumbling under pressure and is ill-equipped to deal with the influx of people needing assistance now.”
“These rights are supposed to be inherently accessible to all South Africans, with the only precondition that you arrive. It’s not a privilege.”
She feels disappointed and shares her opinion that the situation of this post office is indicative of the situation in post offices all across the country.
Henkemen seems deeply ill at ease about the current post office overflow. She voices that the safety of beneficiaries and the post office staff is being compromised despite the reports of a robbery at a number of post offices all across the country.
The list of issues continues as the citizens whose SASSA SRD check shows approval of their monthly grant are still not being paid. Cecilia Daniels, who is 75, had to stand on her legs for hours at the Athlone post office. She had been going back and forth for her unpaid old-age
SASSA grant, which had been pending since February. She was rescued after quite a few hours of toil and was sent back to her home as the authorities had resolved her issue.
A parliamentary report discloses some saddening facts about the post office. It reveals that the staff has been facing mass retrenchment and salary deduction, which was finally reported in the month of March. Imagine being terminated or deducted a sum of your monthly salary!
Adding pain to the injury, a report from Outlier has let out that many post offices were forcefully brought down to closure. The report puts forth stats, and 1512 branches of traditional post offices, along with 697 post office agencies, shut down in 2018. Now, as we report this, there are only 626 post offices operational across the country.
These post offices were closed despite the fact that SASSA retained 6.3 million beneficiaries and paid almost 54% of 11.7 million beneficiaries availed the services of the post office for the transaction of SASSA SRD grants in January 2023.
How do I check my SASSA payment date?
Access the official site of SASSA and enter your ID number as well as the phone number that you use to log in, and this will lead you to the webpage where you can check your SASSA payment dates.
Why is SASSA still pending?
A pending SASSA status eludes to the situation where SASSA is still conducting analysis against your provided data. Hence be patient until your SASSA account is activated by the authorities.
Why is my SASSA money not approved?
When your income threshold surpasses the SASSA criteria, your SASSA SRD grant will be rejected.