Closure of 130 post offices a potential threat to social grants

Please find attached soundbite by Bridget Masango MP

The closure of 130 post offices could have serious consequences on social grant recipients. The DA will be submitting parliamentary questions to the Departments of Social Development and Communications to find out what contingency plans have been put in place for the payment of social grants which may be affected by these closures.

The South African Post Office (SAPO) CEO Nomkhitha Mona confirmed to Parliament that out of the 130 branches due for closure, there are still 80 branches left to face the cut.

The closure of SAPO branches could be potentially catastrophic to the distribution of social grants. SAPO was ultimately awarded the contract to distribute grants exactly because of its wide footprint through the country and its ability to reach millions of poor South Africans in the most rural of communities. The closure of these cash distribution points will potentially leave vulnerable grant recipients in a lurch.

The relevant departments, SAPO and SASSA must therefore provide urgent clarity on the following issues:

  • Which post offices have and are being closed;
  • Criteria used in categorising and identifying which branches to close;
  • How postal services will be impacted in affected communities;
  • The extent to which social grants payment will be at risk; and
  • Contingency plans to mitigate risks.

Poor South Africans, cannot continue to pay the price for mismanaged, poorly operated and corrupt SOEs. The closure of these post offices is yet another classic example of how poorly the ANC government runs SEOs, and unfortunately, as is often the case, it is the poor and vulnerable who bear the brunt.

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