The Lornelia Road grandmother who started collecting a disability grant at the age of 42, said, “I suffered a severe stroke followed by two other strokes. I also have various ailments including diabetes and hypertension and I am being treated for depression. The money I had saved in my Postbank account is used for an annual thanksgiving prayer I do because I feel grateful to be alive.”
Shaik explained how she had been sent back and forth from Postbank to Sassa to get answers as to what happened to her savings. “I went to Postbank and was told that my account was blocked and that the money had been withdrawn with a new card. Postbank staff referred me to Sassa. At Sassa, I was told to fill out forms regarding the theft of my money and the card that was cloned. Sassa has told me they can’t do anything to help me find out how this happened. I had to open a new bank account and was told to make an affidavit regarding the theft of my money and that it would be investigated.”
To date, Shaik hasn’t received an explanation nor has she received her grant payout for July. “It is strange that Postbank can tell me of all my other transactions but is unable to tell me when and where the R5000 was withdrawn. I have accepted that the money is gone but I want other pensioners to be careful. At our age every cent counts and it is also very difficult to sort an issue like when you are battling with sickness.”
Mbizeni Mdlalose, Acting Senior Manager Communications and Marketing for Sassa, said, “We are attending to Mrs Shaik’s matter. Normally once the case has been reported, there are investigations that need to be done. We then revert to the beneficiary. If it is found that there was no negligence on the part of the beneficiary, she will be then refunded.”
According to Mdlalose, there are various control measure that have been put in place by both Sassa and the South African Post Office (Sapo) which includes the daily verification of transactions and cards that are issued on a day. This year alone, about 1800 Sassa beneficiaries have been in a similar situation as Mrs Shaik and the majority of them have been refunded after their matters were investigated and finalised. No comments from Sapo were available at the time of going to print.