The South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) has warned grant beneficiaries that they should avoid using South African Post Office (Sapo) branches to collect their grants.
The agency said that cash pay-points at which social grant clients normally access their social grant funding would not be serviced due to challenges “beyond Sassa’s control”.
“This challenge is extended to post office outlets as well, so clients are advised not to go to any post office branch to try to access the funds,” Sassa stated.
The agency said it was implementing contingency measures, including placing Sassa and Sapo staff at pay-points, to assist grant beneficiaries with PINs to allow them to withdraw the grants at retail outlets or bank ATMs.
“All clients are reminded that they can use the Sassa/Sapo card at any retail outlet or bank ATM,” Sassa stated.
“Clients can either withdraw cash they require or use the card to purchase goods. There is no need to withdraw all the cash at once.”
In an interview with eNCA, Sassa spokesperson Paseka Letsatsi said they were encouraging beneficiaries to use alternatives to the Post Office.
Letsatsi would not elaborate on the “Sassa” had mentioned, but said the Post Office was experiencing “administrative or financial situation”.
“But what we can say is that when there is a crisis, we need to make sure that our clients do not find themselves moving from point A to point B without knowing exactly what it is that they must do to access their grants,” Letsatsi stated.
Sassa also said the impacted beneficiaries included those who qualified for the Covid-19 social relief of distress (SRD) grant.
“When reporting to a merchant to access the funds, clients must have the ID cellphone they registered when applying for the grant because the OTP number will be sent to this registered number,” it advised.
It urged these recipients to update their details on the grants system to have the grant paid into their own personal bank account.
Sapo said those beneficiaries who chose to receive their funds at a Sapo branch should go to www.srd.sassa.gov.za and select an option to collect the grant from retail outlets.
Clients who still have uncollected SRD credit at Sapo or Postbank can collect at the following retail outlets:
- Pick ‘n Pay
The notice comes after Sapo’s announcement on Wednesday that it would stop paying out the SRD grants at its branches and advised beneficiaries to go to retailers or bank ATMs to get their payouts.
The post office claimed this would help shorten queues at its branches.
However, it specifically stated that old age, disability or child grants could still be collected from any Post Office branch.
In response to a query from MyBroadband, Sapo communications head Johan Kruger said these types of grants remained unimpacted.