Postbank says information circulating on social media that its gold card has either been discontinued, expired, or no longer good for transactions is false and misleading the public.

“SASSA beneficiaries using the Postbank issued SASSA gold cards are advised to ignore this false and misleading information as it seeks to cause confusion amongst grant beneficiaries,” said Postbank interim CEO Lucas Ndala.

“As SASSA indicated in its earlier statement on this matter, the SASSA gold cards are valid and good for transacting.”

Postbank stated that beneficiaries could access social grants via ATMs, shops and Post Office branches.

Ndala urged SASSA beneficiaries to only pay attention to information disseminated by SASSA and avoid being misled by peddlers of false information.

Postbank said that if beneficiaries are uncertain about any grants payments matters, they should contact SASSA at its toll-free call centre: 0800 60 10 11, or Postbank on its 24/7 call centre on 0800 52 54 55.

Postbank has been dealing with misinformation about its SASSA gold card since at least early 2021, with information circulating that the cards would stop working on 31 March 2021.

It clarified then that the cards would eventually have to be replaced, as directed by the South African Reserve Bank.

However, there is no set date by when this must be done.

BusinessTech reported that the Reserve Bank’s instruction to replace the cards came after a security breach that was first reported in 2019.

News of the breach broke in 2020, with Sunday Times reporting that Postbank’s master key was stored in plaintext during a data centre migration in July 2018.

Two staff members also stored the key in plaintext on USB flash drives, and one of the drives couldn’t be located.

Social development minister Lindiwe Zulu assured that any fraud identified in the SASSA system is due to poor implementation of controls and not because of the card’s security.

She also emphasised that no beneficiary has lost any social grant money as a result of the issues that have been identified.