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Bank charges reduced for grant beneficiaries

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The number of social grant pay points will be increased.

THE NUMBER of social grant pay points will be increased, while banks have agreed to reduce bank charges over the 21-day lockdown period. 

These measures were implemented to assist with social distancing and to reduce long queues at banks and retailers during the Covid-19 lockdown. 

The Banking Association South Africa (BASA) indicated that it provided accounts for 11.3 million social grant beneficiaries and that it has close to 400 000 points of service. 

This means that Sassa beneficiaries will have more options for collecting their grants, including using ATMs at reduced costs, for grant payments for the lockdown period that ends at midnight on April 16.

Beneficiaries will be able to use Postbank and Sassa cards at any ATM to withdraw Sassa grants, with no Saswitch charges.

Banks have also agreed to waive withdrawal fees at ATMs for Sassa beneficiaries.

BASA said, however, that for March grant payments, some Sassa beneficiaries may still be charged fees because banks cannot implement the changes at such short notice. 

It stated that where these fees are charged, these fees would be refunded into the bank accounts of Sassa beneficiaries “as soon as possible”. 

BASA indicated that its members would assist Sassa in communicating payment dates to beneficiaries and that it is working closely with retailers and other stakeholders to assist Sassa beneficiaries during the lockdown.