Some of those beneficiaries we see at the post office are those who used to be served at community and church halls by the old service provider
WHILE the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) has apologised for the inconvenience caused by the long queues at the Kimberley Post Office, it has stated that the matter could be misconstrued as a “chaotic state of service delivery” without looking deeper.
Sassa provincial spokesperson, Inno Khunou, said yesterday that ever since the termination of the contract declared invalid by the Constitutional Court, numbers at post offices and other places like ATMs and supermarkets were bound to swell as alternative payment channels.
“Some of those beneficiaries we see at the post office are those who used to be served at community and church halls by the old service provider.”
Khunou added that it should also be borne in mind that the South African Post Office (Sapo) was not only paying out social grants but was also issuing motor vehicle licences and also offered other services like speed services, Lotto and normal postal services.
“These long queues, however, should abate as Sapo gets into gear to handle the influx of a myriad of services and beefs up its capacity.
“It must be borne in mind that Sassa has offered beneficiaries other alternative payment channels to draw their social grants, like supermarkets, personal bank accounts and ATMs, using the gold Sassa card. Most beneficiaries prefer using the post offices as they say they can speak one-on-one to the teller, unlike at an ATM.
“They were given a choice of payment channel and they chose the post office.”
She added that Sassa had, for years, urged families of the elderly, sick and disabled to appoint procurators to receive grants on their behalf and avoid standing in long queues.
“This will ease the burden on our beneficiaries, but some do not heed the call as recipients prefer to draw their own money and go shopping while in town.
“Sassa also informed beneficiaries via the media to start drawing their grant money as early as September 29, to avoid long queues but, clearly, beneficiaries prefer to draw on the first day of the month.”
Khunou added that there were also beneficiaries who had not swopped to the new gold Sassa card.
“We urge them to do so as a matter of urgency at their nearest Sassa office or post office. Beneficiaries must always remember to bring their IDs to swop their card.”