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DA gatvol at decision to stop paying R350 grants at the post office — here’s how it plans to fight it

“The DA will leverage all the parliamentary channels to oppose this move and if needs be, we will pursue legal action,” said the party.

12 May 2022 - 09:11
Covid-19 social relief of distress grant beneficiaries queue outside a post office in East London. File photo.
Covid-19 social relief of distress grant beneficiaries queue outside a post office in East London. File photo.
Image: Sino Majangaza

The DA has threatened legal action over a decision to stop paying R350 social relief of distress (SRD) grants at SA Post Office (Sapo) branches.

Sapo spokesperson Johan Kruger said the move was part of the post office’s efforts to alleviate long queues at its branches. Instead, beneficiaries will be able to collect their money from several supermarket chains countrywide.

The DA said the move will disadvantage millions of poor South Africans who rely on this grant to provide for their families by forcing them to incur unnecessary additional travel expenses to access this grant outside the communities they live in.

The party said it would write to communications minister Khumbudzo Ntshavheni and social development minister Lindiwe Zulu, urging them to reverse the “senseless decision” by Sapo.

“The insistence by Sapo that its decision to stop paying the social relief grant at its branches will help 'alleviate long queues' is not good enough,” said the DA.

“At a time when the cost of living is at an all-time high, poor South Africans need their government to provide them with the relief they need to make ends meet, instead of suffocating them with additional expenses, all in pursuit of reducing long queues.”

The DA said the long queues at post office branches are a result of the entity’s chronic inefficiency, shortage of staff and obsolete technological infrastructure and not because of the beneficiaries of the social relief grants.

“To blame those queues on the latter is to gaslight poor South Africans. The DA will leverage all the parliamentary channels to oppose this move and if need be, we will pursue legal action.”

Speaking on the decision, Kruger said R350 grant beneficiaries should now collect their grant at supermarkets.

“The application app now includes an option where beneficiaries can receive their grant from any Pick n Pay, Boxer, Shoprite, Checkers or USave merchant. The SA Post Office strongly advises beneficiaries to include this option,” said Kruger.

He said beneficiaries must have their mobile phone number to withdraw their grant at supermarkets.

“If you have already reapplied for your SRD grant, you can still select the option to collect your grant from any Pick n Pay, Boxer, Shoprite, Checkers or USave. Log on to srd.sassa.gov.za and respond to the security SMS you receive on your phone. You can then include merchants in your application and submit the updated application.”

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