SASSA applied for leave to appeal in the judgement handed down in the North Gauteng High Court by His Lordship Judge van der Westhuisen on the 09 May 2017. The Judge declared that Regulation 21 and 26 (A) of the Social Assistance Act 13 of 2004 do not restrict beneficiaries in the operation of their bank accounts. What this means is that in terms of the judgement, service providers can still continue to deduct money from social grant accounts.
This judgement and it’s order appear to have overlooked the fact that beneficiaries are at the receiving end of unauthorised deductions and it may leave them unprotected from unscrupulous service providers particularly in the financial sector. The grounds for appeal, however, are that the Supreme Court of appeal or a full bench of the High Court should consider the following among others:
- Contrary to the judgement, grant beneficiaries don’t hold their Grindrod bank accounts in their own name
- Bank accounts privately held by beneficiaries cannot be conflated with special accounts administered by Grindrod on behalf of SASSA
- Grindrod bank and CPS perform a constitutional government function when distributing social grants on behalf of SASSA and therefore become State organs by extension or directly and therefore cannot be equated with other banks
- Grindrod has no direct relationship with account holders receiving grants
- Grant beneficiaries when presenting themselves at a payment point don’t do so to authenticate the transfer of a grant
In another development, fake news meant to cause panic among beneficiaries is doing the rounds. Beneficiaries are told that because their cards expire in December, they need to apply for new cards within 90 days. We wish to put it on record that SASSA hasn’t authored such a statement and beneficiaries should ignore it. The date for updating beneficiary cards will be announced by SASSA in due course through registered letters sent to beneficiaries and there is no need to panic.
There is also a Facebook page claiming to offer SASSA loans and we will take action against perpetrators of such fake news spread falsely in the name of SASSA. Beneficiaries of social grants should report people who ask them for their personal details like ID numbers or card PINs and the law must take its course. The public can call 0800601011 or inbox us on social media in case they are unsure of anything they are told.
Issued on behalf of SASSA