Social grant recipients have released employees of the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) after holding them hostage in Tshidilamolomo and Disaneng villages on the outskirts of Mahikeng in the North West on Wednesday.

This happened after hundreds of recipients were sent back home after being told that their accounts had insufficient funds for withdrawal at ATMs.

The South African Post Office (Sapo) has taken over the distribution of social grants from the controversial Cash Paymaster Services, but at it’s first hurdle, failed to pay villagers and others in desperate need of the money.

North West Sassa Regional Spokesperson Nthabiseng Mosieleng has apologised for the inconvenience – and says they are addressing the matter.

Sixty-nine-year old Sussan Radebe who was among the frustrated pensioners says the inconvenience could have easily been prevented if Sassa has been honest with them from the onset.

“I am sick. I waited in line for almost the whole day. They said I must bring both my cards… however all of them are not working. We did not get our grants. Our hearts are sore because we do not even have food.”

Residents have called on national government to speedily resolve the matter saying failure to so will result in the ruling party having to suffer heavily in the upcoming elections next year.

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