Barnes: Post Office strike won't affect grant payments

Post Office CEO Mark Barnes says whatever happens regarding the strike, beneficiaries will still be able to get their money.

FILE: SA Post Office CEO Mark Barnes. Picture: @mark_barnes56/Twitter.

JOHANNESBURG - South African Post Office (Sapo) CEO Mark Barnes says the strike by workers is unlikely to impact on social grant payments as it affects mainly postal services and distribution warehouses.

Barnes was at a briefing earlier on Thursday by the inter-ministerial committee that’s ensuring compliance with the Constitutional Court's orders relating to grant payments.

The government is urging the country’s millions of beneficiaries to make the switch from their old cards to the new South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) gold card.

It says Sapo has so far migrated more than 1.8 million beneficiaries to the new Sassa gold card and that the glitches that beset the process earlier this month have been mostly ironed out.

Barnes says the process of issuing new cards may be affected by industrial action.

“The strike will mainly affect postal services not the payment of Sassa, it must be borne in mind that whatever happens, the cash is loaded to the cards electronically and is accessible through ATMs and merchants no matter the case.”

He says whatever happens regarding the strike, beneficiaries will still be able to get their money.

“I don’t think the strike will physically impact on the payment of grants, it is impacting on the onboarding of the new cards system, but it’s primarily in the postal services.”