Sassa social grants

Barbara Maregele

Ready for Sassa payments: SA Post Office announces major IT system upgrade

The South African Post Office says it has increased its system’s performance by 700%.

Sassa social grants

Barbara Maregele

The South African Post Office (SAPO) is in the process of upgrading its digital system which will improve its ability to deliver month-end grant payments.

SAPO has taken over the administrative role of welfare payments overseen by the South Africa Social Security Agency (Sassa). The massive increase in responsibility has resulted in some teething problems for the overburden IT system.

Following last month’s ‘full system failure’ whereby thousands of Sassa beneficiaries were left struggling to obtain their social grants, a statement on Tuesday promised a complete SAPO system overhaul and upgrade.

SAPO system performance increased by 700%

As reported by Business Tech, the SAPO systems have been upgraded to deal with a higher volume of traffic experienced by beneficiaries migrating to the new Sassa Gold Card system.

Lindiwe Kwele, SAPO COO, has said that the IT system can now process 160 transactions per second – which is an increase of 700% relative to its previous capacity.

SAPO is proud to announce that its operating speeds are now in-line with banking industry standards.

Kwele commented on the positive impact this would have on social welfare beneficiaries, saying:

“Our IT systems are ready for the upcoming month end payments and we are confident that social grants beneficiaries will witness a smooth payments experience.

The technicians have been working tirelessly with industry stakeholders since the beginning of the month to optimise our transaction capacity.

Infrastructure upgrades have also been implemented on Postbank’s connectivity to Bankserv to improve transaction speeds.”

Both SAPO and Sassa are in the midst of a payment migration process, whereby current beneficiaries are being transferred over to a new system designed to prevent fraud and illegal deductions.

New Sassa Gold Cards

The new Sassa Gold Card is fully integrated into the national payment system and can be used by beneficiaries to draw cash at ATM’s.

SAPO has notified recipients that due to the current phasing-out process, those with Gold Cards will not receive their grants at original pay-points managed by former-administrators, Cash Paymaster Services (CPS).

Detailing the revised collection and payment points relating to Sassa beneficiaries, Kwele said:

“Your social grant money will automatically be paid into the new card and, if you so wish, you can withdraw cash at any ATM, over the till at shops such as Shoprite and Boxer, the Post Office or you can simply use your card to buy goods at any shops that accept bank cards.”