The SA Post Office (Sapo) has announced it will no longer pay the R350 social relief of distress (SRD) grant through its branches.
Sapo spokesperson Johan Kruger said the move will help alleviate long queues at its branches.
He said a new round of applications for the R350 SRD grant is open and includes options for beneficiaries to choose where to collect their grants.
“The application app includes an option for beneficiaries to receive their grants from any Pick n Pay, Boxer, Shoprite, Checkers or USave merchants.
“ Sapo strongly advises beneficiaries to include this option as post office branches will no longer pay out SRD grants,” said Kruger.
He said those who have already reapplied for their SRD grant can select the option to collect their grant from any of the outlets mentioned.
Applicants must log on to the SRD website and respond to the security SMS they will receive on their phone. They can then include merchants in their application and submit the updated application.
“Beneficiaries must have their own cellphone number to withdraw their grant at supermarkets. If you do not have your own number, get your own SIM card and use that number to apply for your grant. You can also change your cell number on the website.
“Beneficiaries will be assisted to reset card pins at the cash pay points. The card can then be used at merchants at ATMs,” said Kruger.
Earlier this week Sapo said it is investigating allegations that its workers were charging grant recipients R50 to jump queues.
Several recipients accused post office cashiers, allegedly working in cahoots with security guards, of charging them R50 to jump long queues to collect their R350 payments.
Speaking on SAfm, Kruger said an investigation was in progress.
“When we get a complaint like that it is investigated very thoroughly. We have a dedicated investigation unit, consisting of former police officers, who get to the bottom of this,” said Kruger.
He said in most cases, Sapo discovered those who were charging recipients R50 to jump queues were not cashiers but self-appointed queue marshals who are members of the public.
Kruger said Sapo does not know if some cashiers are getting a cut from the R50 and is investigating the matter.
The SA Post Office has stopped paying R350 SRD grants at its branches. File photo.