Postbank is responsible for managing over 10 million social grants across the country. However, many grant recipients have expressed frustrations with the difficulties they have had in getting their grant payments for the month of December.
These challenges come after the bank issued a notice to all Postbank-issued South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) gold cards users that it had suspended bank withdrawals for the month of December in an effort to curb fraud.
In a statement, the agency explains:
In recent months, Postbank has been experiencing a number of technical glitches that disrupted the smooth withdrawal of Social Assistance benefits. Following extensive investigations, we have uncovered a series of network attacks by criminal elements determined to commit systematic ATM card fraud-related crimes on Postbank payments using sophisticated modus operandi, which require further investigation.
Grant recipients were then advised to make use of retail outlets where they could withdraw and transact with their gold Postbank bank cards.
These retail outlets include:
Pick n Pay
However, traveling long distances to shopping centers, along with rolling power outages and offline systems, has been a significant challenge, particularly for the elderly.
Many township and rural residents have expressed frustrations as they are having difficulties getting to retail stores to withdraw their money as most shopping centres and malls are at least 5km away.
Furthermore¸ some members of the public who use Postbank cards have also raised complaints that they had experienced delays in receiving their social grants even after using a retail to withdraw their grants.
Western Cape Social Development MEC, Sharna Fernandez, said her office had received numerous complaints of Postbank-issued Sassa gold cards not working.
The suspension of ATM withdrawals for Sassa beneficiaries by Postbank is unacceptable, especially just before this important time of the year.
Rather than fix this long-running problem, Postbank suspended ATM withdrawals for December while it deals with the problem, she adds.
The bank stated that it will notify beneficiaries when ATM transactions using Sassa gold cards were resumed.