The statement follows an oversight inspection by the DA Shadow Minister of Social Development, Bridget Masango MP, and DA Gauteng Spokesperson for Social Development, Justus de Goede MPL, to the Mamelodi East Post Office. Please find the attached soundbite in English and isiZulu.
Today, the Democratic Alliance (DA) conducted an oversight inspection at the Mamelodi East Post Office after we received reports that grants beneficiaries have not been able to get their social grants because the grant payment system has been offline for the last two months.
We spoke to the facility’s management who confirmed that their system was offline due to network issues. The system has since been tended to by technicians from the South African Post Office (SAPO) but is still not reliable.
The DA also found that the Mamelodi East Post Office only has three staff members who have to assist 50 or more social grants beneficiaries on a normal day. The under-staffing and the technical challenges lead to long queues and too often beneficiaries leave the office without their grants.
The DA has received complaints from across the country about long lines at pay points during the South African Social Security Agency’s (SASSA) migration period from Cash Paymaster Services to SAPO.
This is proof that SAPO and SASSA failed to consider the full scope of the switch to the new grants payment system.
The ANC government should have ensured that post offices and other pay points are fully prepared with enough staff and proper infrastructure during this migration period.
Despite the government’s apologies and repeated assurances that the glitches in the system have been fixed, South African grant recipients still struggle to access their grants.
The challenges at Mamelodi East is undoubtedly evidence of a national system failure.
To millions of SASSA beneficiaries, their grants are their only source of income. Any delay in paying out social grants could mean the difference between having a meal or going hungry.
The fact that thousands of South Africans have been denied access to their grants is proof that the ANC is a party of broken promises. The DA is the only party who can provide the people of South Africans with dignified access to social services.