The South African Post Office (Sapo) has been distributing social grants on behalf of the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) electronically since April last year and in cash since September.
This week, Sapo appeared in parliament before the portfolio committee on telecommunications and postal services. It said it is working on removing cash payments for SASSA grants altogether in some areas because the system is costly and risky.
What does this mean for the beneficiaries and should they be worried?
Hoodah Abrahams-FaykerNational, advocacy manager for non- profit organisation Black Sash, says they've witnessed the negative effects of reducing the number of cash paypoints in certain areas.
It was so difficult for beneficiaries to access the national payment system, where they had to spend between R40 to R150 to travel to this national payment system to get to an ATM.— Hoodah Abrahams-Fayker, National advocacy manager - Black Sash
As a result of our reports to the courts and directly to the Social Development, there is currently a moratorium on the further closing of pay points.— Hoodah Abrahams-Fayker, National advocacy manager - Black Sash
Abrahams says although the Post Office has cited the risks and expense of cash as payment method, it has not consulted with the beneficiaries.
She point out that in terms of its service agreement with Sassa, the Post Office has to provide multiple payment options such as cash pay points, post offices and the national payment infrastructure.
Listen to the full interview below: