Today's Big Stories

The plight of SA's pensioners put under the spotlight

Many South African pensioners struggle to make ends meet and their financial challenges are often conflated by added monthly deductions.

According to Colleen Ryan, Regional Manager of Black Sash, the deductions are sometimes illegal, unauthorised or approved without the pensioners full understanding.

The campaign “Hands off our Grants” is a response to the lack of awareness surrounding the South African Social Service Agency (Sassa) social grant banking system.

They no longer get their grants in cash , they now get banked. The banking card system, though well intended, makes these pensioners more vulnerable to debit orders and other factors they have no knowledge of.

Colleen Ryan, Regional Manager of Black Sash

According to Sassa, of about 16 million South Africans currently receiving social grants about 500,000 are affected by unlawful or immoral debit deductions.

Investigations have revealed that many complaints and cases stem from for airtime, electricity, water and funeral cover deductions.

A series by EWN looks at the plight of pensioners who survive on roughly R1,400 a month.

Listen to the full conversation from CapeTalk's Breakfast with Kieno Kammies:

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