Cash in transit robbery to affect Sassa payouts

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A Post Office cash in transit vehicle was robbed between Bloemfontein and Aliwal North in the Eastern Cape.

Head of the South African Post Office in the Eastern Cape, Nombulelo Ngubane, says the security guards were injured during the robbery and robbers fled with an undisclosed amount of money.

The Post Office says, the robbery will affect Sassa payouts in a number of areas, such as Aliwal North, Jamestown, Sterkspruit, Herschell, Lady Grey, Barkley East, Burgersdorp, Venterstad, Dordrecht, Molteno and Sterkstroom.

Ngubane says, “We are currently in consultation with our cash in transit supplier to work out what the mitigation can be in order for our beneficiaries to be able to still come to the Post Office at a later date to access their funds.”

“In the meantime, our beneficiaries are urged to get their grant payments from ATMs, from merchants whether it’s your Boxers, your Shoprites or Pick n Pays – because these are the channels that will be able to assist them while we are trying to resolve our current challenge,” adds Ngubane.

In the video below, the post office is administering social grant payments after taking over from CPS:

Post Office losing millions

Earlier in the month, the South African Post Office was accused and denied reports of losing millions of rands in delivery fees for paying out social grants.

A newspaper reported that the Post Office was losing at least R60 million a month from distributing social grants to millions of citizens.

It said the situation is so dire that the Post Office is considering shutting down many cash pay-points around the country.

However, the Acting Chief Executive Officer of the Post office, Ivumile Nongogo, says the article was written out of context and the situation is not as dire.

“As a standalone contract, it’s actually quite a lucrative contract – we’re making money. Certainly, the costs are quite high and I think all the parties in the contract understand that. The idea of moving money to all sorts of places across the country is expensive and it’s a scale that is quite unprecedented. But as a contract, it is a contract that makes money for the post office group.”

Contract  invalid

The Post Office took over social grants payment in late 2018 from Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) after the Constitutional Court declared the contract between Sassa and CPS invalid and that it should end in September 2018.

This was followed by a matter brought before the Pretoria High Court by Corruption Watch concerning an unlawful payment of R316 million from Sassa to CPS.

The Pretoria High Court ruled that CPS should repay the R316 million back to Sassa. The ruling was upheld by the Supreme Court of Appeal and the Constitutional Court.