SASSA and SAPO must come clean if social grants are at risk

The Democratic Alliance (DA) is extremely concerned by media reports today that seem to indicate that the South African Post Office (SAPO) is in grave financial difficulties and may be forced to close social grant cash distribution points.

We will therefore write to the chairperson of Parliament’s portfolio committee on Social Development, requesting that the committee urgently requests Minister Lindiwe Zulu to look into the situation and report back to Parliament.

Millions of South Africans are reliant on social grants to sustain themselves and their families. Moreover, many social grant recipients in rural areas have no means of accessing their grants other than through the cash distribution points. If SAPO plans on closing some of these cash distribution points, vulnerable grant recipients could be left in the lurch.

It is thus imperative that Minister Zulu, as the Minister responsible for Social Development, ascertain from the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) and SAPO what the extent of SAPO’s financial difficulties are and what impact it is likely to have on the distribution of social grants to the most vulnerable South Africans.

SASSA, SAPO and Minister Zulu must come clean if social grants are at risk. If SAPO becomes another failing state-owned entity and is no longer able to fulfil their contractual obligations in this regard, they – together with SASSA and Minister Zulu – will have to put forward urgent contingency measures to ensure that no social grant recipient is left in the lurch.

The DA believes that Parliament has an integral role to play in ensuring that government does not fail our most vulnerable citizens, and will continue to use this platform to hold government to account.