In a special report by EWN yesterday, more than 3 million elderly people are struggling to make ends meet with a monthly pension grant of R1,400.
It was also reported that pensioners are falling victim to illegal deductions or high interest rates or charges on credit. According to Sassa, of about 16 million South Africans currently receiving social grants about 500,000 are affected by unlawful or immoral debit deductions.
In most cases deductions from pensions are for airtime, electricity, water, funeral cover as well as micro-loans.
The Executive Manager of Benefits Transfer, South African Social Security Agency (SASSA), Frank Earl spoke to John this morning. He explains that they are on a drive to educate pensioners against getting into credit, as this doesn't leave them with much to live on.
The grant in itself is not sufficient to be able to service any credit that is extended to people. SASSA is continuing to educate beneficiaries not to enter into any service level agreements that would make them more . vulnerable because these companies use various ways of marketing their products.— Frank Earl, Executive Manager of Benefits Transfer, South African Social Security Agency (SASSA)
It could be immorality and some people are buying the services but unaware of the consequences of the high interest rates and repayments. In some cases the transactions are unauthorised because the client didn't sign a mandate to the financial service provider to say that you can debit my account.— Frank Earl, Executive Manager of Benefits Transfer, South African Social Security Agency (SASSA)
Listen to the full conversation below: