Ending Post Office payouts 'huge disadvantage' for recipients of R350 grant: DA
- The Democratic Alliance (DA) does not support the move to end the collection of the R350 Social Relief of Distress (SRD) from Post Office branches
- Beneficiaries must now collect their money at Pick n Pay, Boxer, Shoprite, Checkers or Usave merchants
- The DA's Bridget Masango says the decision will be a setback for grant recipients in rural communities whose lives will be heavily inconvenienced
The Democratic Alliance (DA) says grant beneficiaries in remote and rural communities have been left out in the cold after the Post Office announced it will no longer pay out the R350 Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grants from its branches.
The R350 grant will now be distributed through Pick n Pay, Boxer, Shoprite, Checkers or Usave merchants.
Bridget Masango, the DA's spokesperson on social development, says this move will disadvantage many grant recipients because many of the big retailers on the list have no footprint in their small towns.
Masango claims many recipients will be forced to spend more money travelling further away to collect the cash.
"It means that with no post offices paying them, they have to now travel with bigger costs to further retailers so that they can get this money," she tells CapeTalk.
The DA has called for the urgent stay of discontinuation of Post Office pay points for the next two months while the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) finds smaller retailers that are accessible to people in rural communities.
Masango says Sassa and the Department of Social Development must also launch a targeted communication drive in remote and rural areas where many people might not have learned about these developments.
I do not buy this logic because the stopping completely of Post Office from paying grants and redirecting them to retailers comes at a time when retailers are far, especially from the remote and rural areas.Bridget Masango, DA MP and spokesperson on social development
The people are closer to Post Office... For the Sassa to say no Post Offices, no pay points is a huge disadvantage to the beneficiaries... which we called for an urgent stay of discontinuation of these pay points for grants until an alternative is found that is going to fill that gap.Bridget Masango, DA MP and spokesperson on social development
We are saying give time, two to three months, while still keeping the pay points and also have good targeted communication to these grant beneficiaries because some of them don't get to hear or listen to the mainstream media. We are also saying have the Post Offices continue to pay the grant beneficiaries until you have come up with a longer list of retailers other than the ones they have been given at the moment.Bridget Masango, DA MP and spokesperson on social development
Source : Sethembiso Zulu/EWN