Grant beneficiaries set to suffer with Post Office branch closures

Issued by Bridget Masango MP – DA Shadow Minister of Social Development
28 Mar 2024 in News

In response to a written parliamentary question by the DA, the Minister of Social Development, Lindiwe Zulu, has revealed that the South African Post Office (SAPO) is in the process or has already closed 40.6% of its rural South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) payment points, with March having been the last payment date for many.

Of the 687 SAPO payment point closures, 279 are in rural areas, and all but one of the SAPO payment points closed in the Eastern Cape are in rural communities. This while only 23.44% of SAPO branches are within 10 kms of alternative SASSA payment points, including ATMs and retail partners. In fact, none of the SAPO payment points in the Western Cape are within 10 kms of an alternative payment point, while only 8 in the Free State, 11 in the Northern Cape, and 12 in the Eastern Cape are within this radius.

With the continually rising cost of living, ever-increasing transport costs, and nearly half of South Africans facing hunger, the payment point closures might force some social grant recipients to choose between traveling to access their grants and feeding their families.

While the DA encourages SASSA grant beneficiaries to switch their grant payments to reputable banks and make use of alternative payment points, many of them remain reliant on SAPO to access their grants – an avenue now taken away from nearly 162 000 social grant recipients.

It is shameful that the ANC’s mismanagement of SAPO is now borne by the most vulnerable of our society. The ANC does not care and continues to expose itself. On 29 May, it is time for South Africans to stand with what is good and moral, as protecting the vulnerable is not just a constitutional imperative but a moral one. Political change is of utmost importance, and it is needed urgently.