How to Load Airtime Using Your SASSA Card?

For many South Africans who rely on social grants, having continuous access to mobile communication is essential. With a SASSA card linked to your mobile wallet, you can conveniently purchase airtime and data without having to visit a retail store. This allows you to stay connected through calls, SMS, and mobile internet access.

If you receive SASSA benefits and want to understand how to top up airtime using your SASSA card, this comprehensive guide will walk you through the entire process.

Overview of Purchasing Airtime with a SASSA Card

The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) provides social assistance grants to eligible citizens through SASSA-branded debit cards. These cards can be used to withdraw cash grants and make payments like a regular bank card. With the growth of mobile banking, many SASSA cardholders can also utilize their cards to buy airtime and data bundles.

This is done by linking your SASSA card to a mobile wallet within your bank’s mobile app. Once linked, you can conveniently load airtime and data without having to visit a retailer. The amount is deducted directly from your SASSA card balance. This method is easy, instant, and available 24/7 right from your mobile device.

Step-by-Step Guide on Loading Airtime

Follow these steps to learn how to purchase airtime on your mobile with a SASSA card:

1. Check Mobile Network Coverage

Before starting the process, ensure that your mobile phone has an active cellular or WiFi data connection. This connectivity is required to access your mobile banking app and process the airtime purchase. If you have no bars or a “no service” indication, move to an area with better reception.

2. Download Mobile Banking App

The first step is to download your bank’s official mobile banking app on your smartphone. Popular options include FNB, Absa, Standard Bank, Nedbank, and Capitec mobile apps. You can search for and install the app through the Google Play Store on Android devices or the Apple App Store on iOS devices.

3. Register and Login

Once installed, open the app and register for mobile banking by providing your personal and SASSA card details when prompted. This creates your user account. On subsequent visits, simply login with your registered username and password.

4. Link SASSA Card

Within the app’s menu, look for a “Card Management” or “Linked Accounts” section. Here you can link your SASSA card by entering the card number, expiry date and CVV number. Confirm any prompts to link the card to your mobile wallet.

5. Locate Airtime Purchase Menu

The menu layout can vary by bank, but generally you will find an “Airtime” or “Cellphone Recharge” option. This menu lets you purchase airtime and data bundles. Locate this in the app.

6. Select Amount

Choose the rand amount of airtime you wish to load. Note the minimum (usually R10) and maximum (up to R500) limits. You can also opt to enter a custom amount. Ensure your SASSA card balance can cover the airtime amount.

7. Confirm Purchase

Carefully review the mobile number, airtime amount, and SASSA card details. Once confirmed, authorize the purchase by entering your mobile banking PIN or fingerprint. This will initiate the airtime purchase.

8. Wait for Confirmation

Give it a few seconds for the transaction to be processed. You will get a notification that airtime has been purchased successfully. The amount will reflect as a deduction from your SASSA card balance.

9. Check Airtime Balance

To confirm, check your new airtime balance by dialing *131# (Vodacom), *141# (MTN), *149# (Cell C) or *130# (Telkom) on your mobile. You should see the airtime amount loaded and available.

Tips for Buying Airtime with SASSA Card

Here are some additional tips worth noting when purchasing airtime using your SASSA card:

  • Purchase airtime in bulk to reduce transaction frequency. Opt for R100 or R200 bundles.
  • Monitor your SASSA balance to ensure sufficient funds for groceries and cash withdrawals.
  • Enable mobile banking app purchase PINs or biometrics for added security.
  • Save airtime recharge as a favorite menu option for quick access.
  • Buy data bundles along with airtime if you need mobile internet.
  • Keep your mobile banking app updated to the latest version.


Overall, being able to purchase airtime directly through a mobile banking app using your SASSA card is extremely convenient. This method eliminates the need to queue in shops or obtain cash first. With just your phone and a few taps, you can easily and instantly load airtime from anywhere, any time. This improves access to mobile communication for social grant beneficiaries.

Leave a Comment