Civil rights group, Black Sash, has raised concerns over the new collection points that the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) beneficiaries must visit in order to access their grants.

Sassa ended its contract with Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) in 2017 and signed a new contract with the South African Post Office.

Around 8 000 CPS paypoints have since closed, meaning SASSA beneficiaries are required to visit ATMs, retailers, Post Office or one of the remaining paypoints to collect their grants.

Black Sash’s Amanda Ismail says beneficiaries have complained over the further costs incurred to access their grants.

“They now have to access their grants at the retailers, the ATMs or the Post Office, but this comes at a cost because the nearest payment channels can be far away. Some of the beneficiaries now have to give up transport money to access a Post Office, or a retailer, or ATM – and the elderly folk have to walk to access their grants. The other channel they can access is the commercial bank ATM, and we know that that comes with transaction costs, so we are moving further away from the right of the beneficiaries to access the full cash value of their grant,” says Ismail.