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Sassa reveals spike in robberies at pay points since switch to Post Office

Sassa has told Parliament’s social development committee on Thursday that making payments to the country’s 10 million beneficiaries this month, has not been without teething problems.

South African Social Security Agency in Pretoria. Picture: Kayleen Morgan/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) says there has been a spike in the number of robberies at social grants pay points since the migration of payments to the South African Post Office.

It has told Parliament’s Social Development committee on Thursday that making payments to the country’s 10 million beneficiaries this month, has not been without teething problems.

On Thursday, Cabinet praised the inter-ministerial task team for ensuring the migration of grant payments to Sassa this month, in line with a court deadline to phase out its former service provider, Cash Paymaster Services.

Sassa says the lack of visible policing or security at cash pay points is making them soft targets for criminals.

It has approached the police to help strengthen security in high-risk areas.

MPs say they are concerned about the increasing risk that robberies and cash-in-transit heists pose to vulnerable beneficiaries.

Sassa executive manager Rapaahle Ramakgopa said: “Our fear is that we don’t want to get to a situation where the merchants don’t want to serve the beneficiaries because they also serve as a footprint for serving the beneficiaries.”

She also said paying grants in cash also still remains high risk.

Sassa has also had problems with the late arrival of cash this month because its new service provider is unfamiliar with the routes due to the late finalisation of the contract.

(Edited by Mihlali Ntsabo)