CASH deductions will not be allowed from the new Sassa cards without government permission.

Sassa’s new leadership yesterday told parliament the new cards would not allow money to be deducted for things like airtime and electricity without the consent of the recipient.

Cash Paymaster Services, the previous service provider, allowed a number of deductions to be made, which angered pensioners.

Sassa acting CEO Pearl Bhengu told MPs beneficiaries had nothing to worry about.

“On 1 April, people will get their money in their accounts as usual,” she said.

“Let’s communicate with our people and relieve them of the anxiety they are suffering.

“With the new cards no deductions or debit orders will be allowed. We understand some of the beneficiaries need this service but they will have to write to us first for approval,” said Bhengu.

MPs questioned Bhengu on the six-month extension before the Post Office takes over payments.

“I believe in six months everything will be in place in terms of the handover, unless something unforeseen happens,” she said.

“We asked for an extension to make sure our people, especially the disabled, don’t suffer.”

Bhengu told MPs if their request for an extension was denied, they planned to pay beneficiaries at 9 000 points around the country.

DA MP Bridget Masango said everything needed to be communicated to beneficiaries.

“The communication must be as widespread as possible.”

New Social Development Minister Susan Shaban